The Great Gatsby quotes meanings will help you understand the novel more deeply.
The Great Gatsby is a classic famous for its timeless themes and intricate characters. The words of Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway, and other characters have become some of the most memorable quotes in literature.
Each quote carries an important lesson that we can apply to our lives. This blog post will explore some of the most meaningful quotes from The Great Gatsby. And discuss their importance and relevance for today.
85 The Great Gatsby Quotes With Page Numbers
Important The Great Gatsby Quotes Meaning
The Great Gatsby is a classic novel about passion, ambition, and pursuing the American dream in the Jazz Age. It explores themes of idealism, excess, and social class divides.
It is a stark reminder of the destructive power of wealth and greed. Gain a deeper understanding of these The Great Gatsby important quotes with explanations.
1. “So we beat on, boats against the current.” Meaning and Page Number
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 9, Page 110
Meaning: This well-known quote is a metaphor for the struggle to maintain hope in the face of inevitable change. It suggests that although life is full of challenges, we must continue striving toward our goals and progress despite the odds.
The quote also suggests that past experiences, memories, and choices shape our circumstances. By acknowledging and accepting this fact, we can better understand our current situation and make more informed choices for the future.
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2. “I hope she’ll be a fool.” Meaning and Page Number
“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Daisy Buchanan), Chapter 1, Page 16
Meaning: In this quotation, Daisy Buchanan wants her daughter to remain naive and childlike. She suggests that innocence and ignorance are preferable to knowledge and awareness in the world she has grown up in.
Daisy is attempting to protect her daughter from the harsh realities of their social class and the challenges she may face as a young woman in that world.
20 Daisy Quotes From the Great Gatsby
3. “Angry, and half in love with her.” Meaning and Page Number
“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 9, Page 109
Meaning: In this quote, the speaker expresses a complex set of emotions – anger, love, and sorrow – all at once. It is as if the speaker is at a crossroads, torn between conflicting feelings. He or she knows the situation is hopeless, yet there is still some lingering affection, regret, and sadness.
Ultimately, Nick turns away from the situation, likely out of a sense of duty or obligation. This quote is a powerful reminder of how difficult it can be to make the right decision in emotionally charged situations.
It also reminds us that staying away from something or someone can sometimes be the most loving thing we can do.
4. “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.” Meaning and Page Number
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Jordan Baker), Chapter 3, Page 34
Meaning: This quote from Jordan is a humorous observation that speaks to the irony of large parties versus small ones.
Although a large party seems like it would provide more privacy, the opposite is often true; in a crowded space, conversations are overheard, movements are noted, and secrets can be revealed.
On the other hand, small parties provide a more intimate, private atmosphere where conversations and interactions can occur without fear of prying eyes. The quote reminds us that sometimes we can find more privacy in large gatherings than we think.
5. “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” Meaning and Page Number
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
~Fitzgerald F. Scott, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick as the narrator), Chapter 2, Page 26
Meaning: This quote is generally interpreted to mean that one can be both captivated and overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of life. It speaks to a wonderment from encountering all the different kinds of people, places, and experiences in life.
It can also indicate the difficulty of making sense of so much complexity and chaos. The quote implies that life is mysterious, unpredictable, and worth exploring. Ultimately, it encourages us to appreciate life’s infinite beauty and boundless potential.
The Great Gatsby Character Analysis
6. “I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” Meaning and Page Number
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 1, Page 8
Meaning: The quote is meant to show the power of summertime and the feeling of possibilities that it can bring for a new beginning. It speaks to the hope and possibility of renewal that anything can be possible with the start of a new season.
It speaks to the idea of turning the page and starting anew, that a fresh start comes with a new chance to make things right. The feeling of renewal is something that we all have experienced in some form, and this quote captures it perfectly.
7. “I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.” Meaning and Page Number
“I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 3, Page 38
Meaning: This quote is a reflection on the complexity of human emotions. It speaks to the idea that we can still feel tender curiosity toward someone even when we are not in love.
This can be interpreted as a sort of admiration separate from romantic love, suggesting that there can be a strong emotional connection without physical contact.
This notion of an emotional connection resonates with many readers and is a subtle but powerful part of the book. It speaks to the depth of emotions present in The Great Gatsby.
8. “It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it.” Meaning and Page Number
“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 3, Page 33
Meaning: This quote captures the enigmatic quality of Jay Gatsby’s smile and speaks to its profound power. It suggests that his smile had a magical, mysterious quality that could reach out and touch people in profound ways.
In essence, Gatsby’s smile was an expression of understanding and assurance.
It invited those around him to trust in him and believe in themselves. At the same time, it seemed capable of conveying an understanding of the other person that was both deep and intuitive – one that exceeded ordinary understanding.
Ultimately, Gatsby’s smile symbolizes his beguiling charm and mysterious nature, reminding him how he could captivate those around him.
20 Jay Gatsby Quotes and Page Numbers
9. “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive.” Meaning and Page Number
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Mr. Wolfshiem), Chapter 9, Page 105
Meaning: This quote is a moral lesson about showing appreciation for others while they are still alive. Fitzgerald suggests that it is too late to show friendship for someone after they are gone and encourages us to be mindful of showing appreciation for those around us.
He reminds us that life is fleeting, and we should take advantage of every opportunity to show our love, respect, and admiration for those we care about.
We can create lasting relationships rooted in mutual respect and appreciation by expressing our gratitude and friendship to others while they are still alive. In this way, Fitzgerald’s message encourages us to be kinder to the people in our lives.
10. “I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me” Meaning and Page Number
“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Jay Gatsby), Chapter 4, Page 43
Meaning: This quote from Jay Gatsby indicates his loneliness and longing for a more meaningful life. It suggests that he seeks solace in unfamiliar places because he has endured traumatic events that deeply affect him.
He is looking for a sense of belonging and acceptance, but he cannot find it, leading him to drift from place to place. This dialogue reflects the psychological impact of Gatsby’s life experiences and reminds us how powerful our pasts can be in shaping our present selves.
11. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing.” Meaning and Page Number
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 4, Page 50
Meaning: This quote speaks to the idea that everyone in life is either pursuing something or being pursued by something—whether it be a goal, a passion, an ideal, or another person. Additionally, these pursuits can sometimes make people feel busy and exhausted as they strive to achieve them.
The quote speaks to the idea that even in a world of people seemingly all striving for something. There is still a commonality between us: we are all either pursuing or being pursued.
This realization can be both humbling and inspiring. It reminds us that while our pursuits may differ, they ultimately have the same goal: to achieve something we are passionate about.
12. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” Meaning and Page Number
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 1, Page 7
Meaning: This quote expresses the importance of having empathy and understanding toward others. Despite differences in life experiences, everyone deserves equal respect.
By sympathetic understanding of other people’s challenges, we can be more understanding and accepting of one another.
This quote reminds us to think about our privilege when forming opinions and judgments of others. When we are more conscious of the inequalities that exist in our society, we can strive to make it a better place for everyone.
13. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Meaning and Page Number
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Jordan Baker), Chapter 7, Page 74
Meaning: This quote from Jordan speaks to renewal and hope. It conveys that despite the difficult circumstances life can bring, there is always the potential for a fresh start.
The idea of “crispness” in the air can be interpreted as a metaphor for opportunity and possibility.
The quote suggests that when life becomes too much to bear, it is possible to find strength and joy again in the new season. It encourages readers to look towards the future with optimism and to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.
14. “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” Meaning and Page Number
“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 1, Page 7
Meaning: The quote reminds us that we should strive to remain open-minded and not judge people too quickly. Reserving judgment requires a certain level of optimism, believing that even those who seem untrustworthy or unreliable may have hidden potentials waiting to be unleashed if given the right opportunities.
It implies that we should remain hopeful even in uncertainty, believing in the possibility of a better outcome. By reserving judgment, we allow others to prove themselves and make us reconsider our initial impressions.
This quote reminds us that hope is essential for successful relationships, as it allows us to keep an open mind while navigating difficult situations.
15. “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” Meaning and Page Number
“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Jay Gatsby), Chapter 6, Page 69
Meaning: In this quote, Jay Gatsby reflects on reliving past experiences. He implies that a person can never truly recreate the past, despite their best efforts.
The quote suggests that memories and experiences can never be fully re-experienced or duplicated, but instead, one must look to the future and make new memories.
The quote speaks to Gatsby’s hope of being reunited with his lost love, Daisy, even though he knows it cannot be as it once was. The quote serves as a reminder to make the most of each moment and to look forward rather than trying to cling to memories and experiences.
16. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Meaning and Page Number
“They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway), Chapter 8, Page 95
Meaning: This quote highlights the differences between Jay Gatsby and his social circle. It implies that despite Jay Gatsby’s wealth, he is a morally superior person in comparison to those around him.
The quote also foreshadows the eventual downfall of Gatsby’s dream and the people around him, as they are all driven by greed and selfishness. Ultimately, this quote emphasizes the corruption and decadence of the upper-class society in which Jay Gatsby moves.
The quote is a testament to the character’s power over wealth and serves as a reminder of the consequences of living a life of excess.
17. “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings” Meaning and Page Numbers
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 3, Page 28
Meaning: This quote is meant to evoke a sense of an idyllic and luxurious atmosphere, suggesting that men and women in this world were free to come and go as they please, surrounded by lavish luxuries such as champagne and stars in an enchanting environment.
It draws attention to the carefree and exclusive lifestyle of the characters in this story, many of whom are upper-class members. It also emphasizes the contrast between Gatsby’s extravagant world and the practical world of his working-class neighbor Nick Carraway, which provides a further juxtaposition for readers to consider.
Ultimately, it is a reminder that life can be beautiful and full of possibilities, even amid tragedy.
18. “I couldn’t forgive him or like him” Meaning and Page Number
“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. 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.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 9, Page 109
Meaning: This quote captures Tom and Daisy’s careless and callous behavior. F. Scott Fitzgerald paints a picture of two people unconcerned with the consequences of their actions, focusing solely on themselves and their relationship.
Despite this, the narrator can still empathize with them, understanding that their actions are justified in their minds. This quote warns the reader to be mindful of their actions and how they may affect others.
It is a reminder that our choices have consequences, and we should strive to make decisions with care and consideration for everyone involved.
19. “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” Meaning and Page Number
“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. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 5, Page 60
Meaning: This quote speaks to the power of illusion and how it can overwhelm even the best intentions. In this case, Daisy Buchanan cannot meet Jay Gatsby’s expectations despite her efforts.
This highlights the futility of trying to satisfy an unrealistic ideal. It also suggests that no effort or enthusiasm can match the power of illusion.
Gatsby has stored an idealized version of Daisy in his heart; no amount of reality can compare to it. This quote reminds us that we must be careful not to build up unrealistic expectations, as they may never be met.
20. “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people.” Meaning and Page Number
“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Carraway as the narrator), Chapter 4, Page 49
Meaning: This quote recognizes the power of self-control and restraint. It suggests that remaining sober in an environment with those who are not can be beneficial.
This could mean abstaining from alcohol consumption among a group of people drinking or simply avoiding participating in activities that don’t align with one’s values or goals.
It’s a reminder to stay focused on what is important and to prioritize that above anything else to experience the desired outcome. Ultimately, this quote encourages us to make decisions with intention and thoughtfulness to protect our well-being.
21. ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.” Meaning and Page Number
“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, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 2, Page 26
Meaning: This quote reminds us of the fleeting nature of life and how even the most beautiful things can come to an end. It refers to the idea that it is impossible to live forever; therefore, we must make the best of all our moments while we have them.
This quote resonates with the novel’s themes of mortality and impermanence, where characters struggle to find meaning despite knowing they will inevitably die. It serves as a reminder to make each day count and not to take life for granted.
Ultimately, Fitzgerald suggests that it is vital to make the most of life and appreciate its beauty.
22. “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.” Meaning and Page Number
“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 7, Page 84
Meaning: This quote reflects that life is fleeting and death inevitable. In this quote, the narrator describes a journey to an unknown destination with a sense of foreboding as they pass through the cooling twilight.
This emphasizes the inevitability of death and also highlights the fragility of life.
The quotation reminds us to cherish every moment, as we never know when it might be our last. It warns us not to take life for granted or waste time on trivialities. The quote is an invitation to make the most of each day and appreciates all life offers.
23. “I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes” Meaning and Page Number
“I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others–young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 3, Page 38
Meaning: The quote speaks to a deep sense of loneliness. It conveys that people can feel alone, even when surrounded by others. This feeling is especially prevalent in youth, who often go through life without the support and love they need to thrive.
It suggests that moments of beauty are going to waste due to this pervasive sense of alienation and emptiness. It speaks to the emotional struggles that so many young people face and how it can be difficult for them to connect with other people or even themselves.
24. “He waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star.” Meaning and Page Number
“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. 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. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator), Chapter 6, Page 70
Meaning: This quote captures the moment Gatsby finally achieves his dream of being with Daisy. It emphasizes the power of love and its ability to transform one’s life in an instant.
On a deeper level, it conveys how, at that moment, Gatsby transcends his mortal limitations and feels something akin to divine energy. He knows that from this moment on, his life will never be the same, and he is filled with a sense of awe as he realizes that love is greater than any dream or desire.
The quote highlights how Gatsby’s kiss brings him joy and completes Daisy’s transformation into something beautiful and ethereal.
25. “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.” Meaning and Page Number
“He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, (Character: Nick Caraway as the narrator)
Meaning: This quote from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald speaks to the power of a single look. It suggests that when a man looks at a woman with admiration and appreciation, it can be more significant than any words or actions he may offer her. It reminds us of simple gestures’ power and respecting those around us.
By looking at another person with genuine appreciation and admiration, we can tell them they are valued and worthy of our attention. This quote is a beautiful reminder of the power of kindness and its impact on others.
Summary Of The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that tells the story of Jay Gatsby, an enigmatic millionaire who attempts to recapture the love of his past and a quest for the American Dream in 1920s Long Island. The novel explores ambition, class differences, appearances versus reality, and nostalgia. Ultimately, it reveals how pursuing wealth can lead to tragedy and offers insight into society.
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