15 The Great Gatsby Chapter 2 Quotes With Page Numbers

Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby introduces Tom Buchanan’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson.

Myrtle lives in The Valley of Ashes, a polluted industrial wasteland between East and West Egg. 

The Valley of Ashes contrasts the wealth of East and West Egg and it represents the consequences of greed.

The Great Gatsby Quotes With Page Numbers

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The Great Gatsby Chapter 2 Quotes With Page Numbers

“About half way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight. But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic — their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose.  Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness, or forgot them and moved away. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 2, Page 19

Nick Carraway Quotes With Page Numbers

 

“The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute, and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator about Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 19

The Valley of Ashes Quotes

 

“Then I heard footsteps on the stairs and in a moment the thickish figure of a woman blocked out the light from the office door. She (Myrtle) was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. 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 smouldering. She smiled slowly and walking through her husband as if he were a ghost shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator about Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 20

 

“‘Oh, sure,’ agreed Wilson hurriedly and went toward the little office, mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls. A white ashen dust veiled his dark suit and his pale hair as it veiled everything in the vicinity – except his wife, who moved close to Tom.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator and George Wilson about Myrtle), Chapter 2, Page 20

George Wilson Quotes With Page Numbers

 

 

“He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Tom Buchanan about George Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 21

Tom Buchanan Quotes With Page Numbers

 

“I have been drunk just twice in my life, and the second time was that afternoon; so everything that happened has a dim, hazy cast over it, although until after eight o’clock the apartment was full of cheerful sun. Sitting on Tom’s lap Mrs. Wilson called up several people on the telephone; then there were no cigarettes, and I went out to buy some at the drugstore on the corner. When I came back they had disappeared, so I sat down discreetly in the living-room and read a chapter of SIMON CALLED PETER.— either it was terrible stuff or the whiskey distorted things, because it didn’t make any sense to me.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 2, Page 22

 

“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. With the influence of the dress her personality had also undergone a change. The intense vitality that had been so remarkable in the garage was converted into impressive hauteur. Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment and as she expanded the room grew smaller around her until she seemed to be revolving on a noisy, creaking pivot through the smoky air.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator about Myrlte), Chapter 2, Page 23

 

“I told that boy about the ice.” Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the shiftlessness of the lower orders. “These people! You have to keep after them all the time.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 24

Myrtle Wilson Quotes With Page Numbers

 

“Catherine leaned close to me and whispered in my ear:
“Neither of them can stand the person they’re married to.”
“Can’t they?”
“Can’t STAND them.” She looked at Myrtle and then at Tom.
“What I say is, why go on living with them if they can’t stand them? If I was them I’d get a divorce and get married to each other right away.”
“Doesn’t she like Wilson either?”

The answer to this was unexpected. It came from Myrtle, who had overheard the question, and it was violent and obscene.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Cathrine and Nick Carraway), Chapter 2, Page 25

 

“It’s really his wife that’s keeping them apart.
She’s a Catholic, and they don’t believe in divorce.”

Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Cathrine and Nick Carraway), Chapter 2, Page 25

 

“I married [George] because I thought he was a gentleman,” she said finally. “I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Pages 25-26

 

“I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out…I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried…all afternoon.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 26

 

“I wanted to get out and walk southward 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. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

~Fitzgerald F. Scott, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 2, Page 26

 

“All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 26

 

“Some time toward midnight Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face discussing, in impassioned voices, whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy’s name.
‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson. ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai – ‘
Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Myrtle Wilson), Chapter 2, Page 27

 

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