The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway Quotes
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and he champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his motor-boats slid the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. (3.1)
Okay, so the parties sound fabulous. These people are definitely partying like it's 1999, or whatever. But what we're really into is that Nick actually notices the servants—the people who end up cleaning up the mess. Remember that Nick has to clean up after Daisy and Tom. Maybe he identifies a little bit with the servants.
By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. (4.135)
Money might not make you happy, but there's some consolation in a $350K string of pearls. If you have to be depressed, you might as well be depressed on a yacht, right?
We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge I remembered something and turned around.
"They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." (8.44-45)
Check out that use of the word "worth." Daisy and Tom may have been born with money, but they're not "worth" anything. But Gatsby—despite his ill-gotten money—is.