"Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth."
-- Nick, on his upbringing and Morals
"I hope she'll be a fool — that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
-- Daisy, on her daughter
"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. 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."
"People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away."
--Nick on the party
"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 external 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."
-- Nick on Gatsby
"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."
-- Nick on himself (reminds me a bit of myself, actually)
"There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired."
-- Nick on the love affairs of Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan, and himself
"It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well."
"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning —
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
--Nick on Gatsby