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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

It was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn't keep my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head. When we came into the station he was next to me, and his white shirt-front pressed against my arm, and so I told him I'd have to call a policeman, but he knew I lied. I was so excited that when I got into a taxi with him I didn't hardly know I wasn't getting into a subway train. All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.' (2.121)

YOLO: just as dumb in the 1920s as it is now.

Quote #2

"What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon?" cried Daisy, "and the day after that, and the next thirty years?"

"Don't be morbid," Jordan said. "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." (7.74-75)

Daisy sees life as an unending round of boredom that eventually ends in death; Jordan sees it as a constant cycle of renewal. Too bad they're both miserable.

Quote #3

I stared at (Wilson) and then at Tom, who had made a parallel discovery less than an hour before—and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well. (7.158)

Nick seems to be making the connection here between Tom and George realizing that their wives are cheating and discovering that they have some sort of terminal disease. Is that because some cherished idea is dying? Or does he suspect that this is all going to end badly?

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