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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway Quotes Page 17

Quote #49

James Gatz – that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and at the specific moment that witnessed the beginning of his career – when he saw Dan Cody's yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior. (4.6)

There's being dissatisfied with your clothes or your haircut, and then there's being dissatisfied with your entire existence. James Gatz is dissatisfied with his whole being, and we're pretty sure this isn't going to end well.

Quote #50

I suppose he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people – his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. (4.7)

James Gatz isn't just embarrassed of his parents like a normal teen; he seems to have fantasies of having different parents entirely. Like secretly being a prince—or belonging to a family that owns polo horses?

Quote #51

He had discovered that Myrtle had some sort of life apart from him in another world, and the shock had made him physically sick. (7.160)

George Wilson can't deal with the fact that Myrtle has a lover. It's not the sex that seems to bother him so much, but the fact that she has some sort of independent existence. Marriage is supposed to be about joining your lives, and so having a separate life is a total betrayal.

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