The Great Gatsby is so embedded in our cultural consciousness that it’s sometimes hard to remember why it’s remembered. It’s because it’s great. Fitzgerald has a way of writing poetically, but never sinking to levels of purple prose. Instead, he’s accurate. His sentences are like word photographs.
Here are twenty of those lines. They are relatable and hard to forget. They’re the sort of lines you hear and then your personality changes. Are you hyped? Are you excited to have a different personality?
1. And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.
2. Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.
3. There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
4. His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him.
5. Their eyes met and they stared together at each other, alone in space.
6. I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
7. Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.
8. Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
9. People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.
10. You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.
Image Via Warner Bros.
11. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
12. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.
13. I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.
14. So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
15. It takes two to make an accident.
16. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
17. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him.
18. …and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires.
19. “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon?” cried Daisy, “and the day after that, and the next thirty years?”
20. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Feature Image Via Warner Bros.