Top 20 Most Memorable The Great Gatsby Quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald (with page numbers)

The Great Gatsby Quotes

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Great Gatsby Quotes

Great Gatsby Quotes

"What little I've accomplished has been by the most laborious and uphill work, and I wish now I'd never relaxed or looked back--but said at the end of The Great Gatsby: 'I've found my line--from now on this comes first. This is my immediate duty--without this I am nothing.'" -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Preface to The Authorized Text of The Great Gatsby

For a book that was initially not well-received, The Great Gatsby is now a quintessential classic selling millions of copies and translated into dozens of languages.

First published in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book is considered one of the greatest American literary works. Set in New York City and its suburbs during the iconic Jazz Age, the novel depicts the decadence and excess of The Roaring Twenties, the calm-before-the-next-storm decade between the wars. Revealing the lives of a mysterious millionaire and a lost love, the novel explores the potential emptiness that can still arise, even in the midst of achieving the American Dream.

The Great Gatsby, like most Fitzgerald novels, is filled with memorable quotes, so culling them down is a bit tough, but hopefully you’ll enjoy these favorites that capture the essence of the novel and have always resonated with me.

Great Gatsby Quotes

20 Memorable The Great Gatsby Quotes (with page numbers)

1. “Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction–Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.” (Chapter 1, pg. 6)

2. “–it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No–Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.” (Chapter 1, pgs. 6-7)

3. “To the wingless a more arresting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size. I lived at West Egg, the–well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.” (Chapter 1, pg. 9)

4. “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.” (Chapter 1, pg. 10)

5. “I waited, and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.” (Chapter 1, pg. 22)

6. “I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door.” (Chapter 3, pg. 45)

7. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” (Chapter 3, pg. 64)

8. “I didn’t want you to think I was just some nobody. You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.” (Chapter 4, pgs. 71-72)

9. “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.” (Chapter 4, pg. 83)

10. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” (Chapter 4, pg. 85)

11. “There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.” (Chapter 5, pg. 101)

12. “I supposed 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. The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s Business, the service of a vast, vulgar and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.” (Chapter 6, pg. 104)

13. “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.” (Chapter 6, pg. 117)

14. “Her voice is full of money.” (Chapter 7, pg. 127)

15. “He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight—watching over nothing.” (Chapter 7, pg. 153)

16. “She vanished into her rich house, into her rich life, leaving Gatsby—nothing.” (Chapter 8, pgs. 156-157)

17. “Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.” (Chapter 8, pg. 157)

18. “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.’ I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.” (Chapter 8, pgs. 161-162)

19. “It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….” (Chapter 9, pgs 187-188)

20. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Chapter 9, pg. 189)

Great Gatsby Quotes

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