Some words I’m interested in knowing.

“Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner” (Fitzgerald 11).

“His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed” (Fitzgerald 11)

“It’s libel. I’m too poor.”(Fitzgerald 19)

“The only building in sight was a small block of yellow brick sitting on the edge of the waste land, a sort of compact Main Street ministering to it, and contiguous to absolutely nothing.”(Fitzgerald 24)

“Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smoldering.”(Fitzgerald 25)

“It had occurred to me that this shadow of a garage must be a blind, and that sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead, when the proprietor himself appeared in the door of an office, wiping his hands on a piece of waste. He was a blond, spiritless man, anaemic, and faintly handsome.” (Fitzgerald 25)

“Mrs. Wilson had changed her costume some time before, and was now attired in an elaborate afternoon dress of cream-colored chiffon, which gave out a continual rustle as she swept about the room.” (Fitzgerald 30)

“The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur.” (Fitzgerald 30)

“We drove over to Fifth Avenue, so warm and soft, almost pastoral, on the summer Sunday afternoon . . .” (Fitzgerald 32).

“Then she flounced over to the dog, kissed it with ecstasy, and swept into the kitchen, implying that a dozen chefs awaited her orders there.” (Fitzgerald 32)

“His wife was shrill, languid, handsome and horrible.” (Fitzgerald 34).

At any rate, Miss Baker’s lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again—the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. (Fitzgerald 35)

“I wanted to get out and walk 
eastward toward the park through the soft twilight but each time I tried
 to go I became entangled in some wild strident argument which pulled me
back, as if with ropes, into my chair.”(Fitzgerald 44)

“The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo . . .” (44).

“Instead of rambling, this party had preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the country-side — East Egg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gayety. (Fitzgerald 44)

“. . . there was a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray’s understudy from the ‘Follies’” (Fitzgerald 45).

“. . . between the numbers people were doing ‘stunts’ all over the garden while happy vacuous bursts of laughter rose toward the summer sky” (Fitzgerald 51).

“. . . girls were putting their heads on men’s shoulders in a puppyish, convivial way, girls were swooning backward playfully into men’s arms, even into groups knowing that someone would arrest their falls . . .” (Fitzgerald 55).

“The caterwauling horns had reached a crescendo…” (Fitzgerald 55)

“Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw that this was because she felt safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible. She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage and, given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard, jaunty body.” (Fitzgerald 58)

“This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlessness.” (Fitzgerald 64)

“After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe — Paris, Venice, Rome — collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”
(Fitzgerald 66)

“Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money.” (Fitzgerald 68)

“Mr. Wolfshiem swallowed a new sentence he was starting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.” (Fitzgerald 74)

“The juxtaposition of these two remarks was startling. Gatsby answered for me.” (Fitzgerald 75).

“His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy . . .” (Fitzgerald 91).

“They were sitting at either end of the couch looking at each other as if some question had been asked or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone” (Fitzgerald 94).

“He was now decently clothed in a ‘sport-shirt’ open at the neck, sneakers and duck trousers of a nebulous hue.” (Fitzgerald 100)

“A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor” (Fitzgerald 105).

“The none too savory ramifications by which Ella Kaye, the newspaper woman, played Madame de Maintenon to his weakness and sent him to sea in a yacht, were common knowledge to the turgid journalism of 1902” (105–106).

“I remember the portrait of him up in Gatsby’s bedroom, a grey, florid man with a hard empty face—the pioneer debauchee who during one phase of American life brought back to the eastern seaboard the savage violence of the frontier brothel and saloon” (Fitzgerald 106).

The dilatory limousine came rolling up the drive” (Fitzgerald 115).

“The music had died down as the ceremony began and now a long cheer floated in at the window, followed by intermittent cries of ‘Yea—ea—ea!’ and finally by a burst of jazz as the dancing began” (Fitzgerald 135).

“Her voice was cold but the rancor was gone from it” (Fitzgerald 139).

“I found the humidor on an unfamiliar table with two stale dry cigarettes inside” (Fitzgerald 155).

“Usually her voice came over the wire as something fresh and cool as if a divot from a green golf links had come sailing in at the office window but this morning it seemed harsh and dry” (Fitzgerald 162).

“I supposed there’d be a curious crowd around there all day with little boys searching for dark spots in the dust and some garrulous man telling over and over what had happened until it became less and less real even to him and he could tell it no longer . . .” (Fitzgerald 163).

“I thought the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinade—but Catherine, who might have said anything, didn’t say a word” (Fitzgerald 171).

“We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour before we melted indistinguishably into it again” (Fitzgerald 184).

“. . . man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, . . . face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder” (Fitzgerald 189).



Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.



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