The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway Quotes
Instead of being the warm center of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universe—so I decided to go East and learn the bond business. (1.6)
You'd think that returning from war would make Nick satisfied to live a quiet life with his family—but it doesn't. It just makes him restless and, yep, dissatisfied.
Why they came East I don't know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn't believe it – I had no sight into Daisy's heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game. (1.17)
Tom's problem is that he peaked too early, playing football at Yale. It's hard to be satisfied with a normal life of playing polo and yachting when you've been a gridiron star.
I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back, and I thought I'd never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she'd look around uneasily, and say: "Where's Tom gone?" and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door. She used to sit on the sand with his head in her lap by the hour, rubbing her fingers over his eyes and looking at him with unfathomable delight. It was touching to see them together – it made you laugh in a hushed, fascinated way. That was in August. A week after I left Santa Barbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken – she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel. (4.143)
Girls who go with Tom seem to get in trouble, whether it's Daisy's bruised fingers, this girl's broken arm, or Myrtle's mutilated chest. Yeah, we'll be avoiding this guy.