| Quote #1
I was a little drunk. Not drunk in any positive sense but just enough to be careless. (3.25)
We’re not exactly sure what the "positive sense" of drunkenness is that Jake refers to, since people just seem to get into more trouble when they’re drunk in this novel, but we have a feeling it refers to the sense of carefree creative flow that emerges later in the scenes between Jake and Bill. Drunkenness in the wrong social context, however, as in this scene, leans more towards destructive rather than creative.
| Quote #2
"Mr. Barnes," the count poured my glass full. "She is the only lady I have ever known who was as charming when she was drunk as when she was sober." (7.18)
The "she" here is Brett – of course, we’ve already established that Brett is charming in any situation, but this seems like a particularly interesting and rather unusual comment from the count. Brett doesn’t seem to undergo any real change between drunkenness and sobriety, which is kind of an alarming idea, if you think about it.
| Quote #3
Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people. (13.57)
Here, drunkenness is actually an effective mode of distraction for Jake – the language in this quote emphasizes the artificiality of this distraction. It "seems" that everyone’s nice, but we know that when Jake’s sober again, he’ll remember what his friends are really like.