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The Great Gatsby Quotes 8

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Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, Confused after his Gatsby experience, Nick turns his back on Jordan and all the things the East represents.

He broke off defiantly. 'What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy's, but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you'd run over a dog and never even stopped his car.'
There was nothing I could say, except the one unutterable fact that it wasn't true.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, Nick refusing to shake Tom's hand, asks him what he had said to Wilson about Myrtle's death on the day Wilson murdered Gatsby. Tom put the blame on Gatsby, unaware it was Daisy, not Gatsby, who ran over Myrtle. Nick doesn't tell Tom it was Daisy at the wheel, and lies to protect her.

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.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, Nick's moral indictment of the Buchanans, who are corrupted by their wealth and perception of things. Ignorant to what is going on in the world around them, they refuse to have any guilt for their reckless behavior.

On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more. On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight, and I erased it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone. Then I wandered down to the beach and sprawled out on the sand.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, Nick is the keeper of Gatsby's memory. He can't stand to his his friend's name tarnished and erases the graffiti on the steps of the house, now standing neglected and a monument to Gatsby's social failure.

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away - until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes - a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, As Nick sits on Gatsby's beach he is thinking about a time when East Egg was pure. Then it was the old island where great trees stood instead of big mansions like Gatsby's house.

And as I sat there, brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9.

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 -
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The Great Gatsby
Chapter 9, Nick on resilience, in the closing words of the novel. Rowingh against the current signifies both determination to keep hoping for the future and the impossibility of succeeding.

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