The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
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. (3.1)
All that wealth can't fill the hole in Gatsby's heart—but it probably makes it a little easier to bear. Also, notice the insect imagery? The men and girls like "moths"; the station wagon like a "brisk yellow bug"? What's up with that?
"See!" he cried triumphantly. "It's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella's a regular Belasco. It's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too - didn't cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?" (3.49-50)
Gatsby can buy the things that rich people have, but he can't buy the education or experience. But from what the owl-eyed man says, it doesn't sound like anyone else is reading them, either. (See "Gatsby's Books" for an explanation.)
"I like to come," Lucille said. "I never care what I do, so I always have a good time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he asked me my name and address – inside of a week I got a package from Croirier's with a new evening gown in it."
"Did you keep it?" asked Jordan.
"Sure I did. I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in the bust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars." (3.23-25)
Lucille seems more impressed with the price of the gown than the gown itself. And notice how she says "I never care what I do": just one more example of the careless wealthy. Why would you care, when you know that your host will just replace whatever you break? (Unless, of course, it's your heart.)