F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is an iconic piece of American literature that has shaped the modern fictional genre as we know it today. Readers, dreamers, and writers often turn to Great Gatsby quotes to better understand love, life, and the great human tenderness that comes with moving forward.
But why is The Great Gatsby so revered?
This classic novel explores life through tragedy and love, and displays the way we see other people in an interesting and complex way, as we see the story through Nick’s eyes instead of Gatsby’s. Throughout the story, Nick describes the life of the wealthy Jay Gatsby throughout the year of 1922 as he romantically pursues the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.
These Great Gatsby quotes will bring you into the world of Gatsby’s elaborate parties and complicated love life, showing you what this book means for the modern human being.
Don’t forget to also read these F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes on love and life.
Great Gatsby Quotes for Understanding Life
1. “Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures.” – The Great Gatsby
2. “He found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.” – The Great Gatsby
3. “All the bright precious things fade so fast, and they don’t come back.” – The Great Gatsby
4. “‘I’m thirty,’ I said. ‘I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor.’” – The Great Gatsby
5. “The rich get richer and the poor get—children.” – The Great Gatsby
6. “Thirty—the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” – The Great Gatsby
7. “‘What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon?’ cried Daisy, ‘and the day after that, and the next thirty years?’” – The Great Gatsby
8. “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.” – The Great Gatsby
9. “Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!” – The Great Gatsby
10. “There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind.” – The Great Gatsby
11. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – The Great Gatsby
12. “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” – The Great Gatsby
13. “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” – The Great Gatsby
14. “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.” – The Great Gatsby
15. “All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.” – The Great Gatsby
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Great Gatsby Quotes for When Everything Changes
16. “I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.” – The Great Gatsby
17. “The afternoon had made them tranquil for a while, as if to give them a deep memory for the long parting the next day promised.” – The Great Gatsby
18. “Breathing dreams like air.” – The Great Gatsby
19. “Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on.” – The Great Gatsby
20. “A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about.” – The Great Gatsby
21. “The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun.” – The Great Gatsby
22. “It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.” – The Great Gatsby
23. “So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight—watching over nothing.” – The Great Gatsby
24. “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.” – The Great Gatsby
25. “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.” – The Great Gatsby
26. “Can’t repeat the past? … Why of course you can!” – The Great Gatsby
27. “Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.” – The Great Gatsby
28. “You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.” – The Great Gatsby
29. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – The Great Gatsby
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Great Gatsby Quotes About Love
30. “Their eyes met and they stared together at each other, alone in space.” – The Great Gatsby
31. “I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” – The Great Gatsby
32. “People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.” – The Great Gatsby
33. “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.” – The Great Gatsby
34. “A stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.” – The Great Gatsby
35. “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.” – The Great Gatsby
36. “Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.” – The Great Gatsby
37. “The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.” – The Great Gatsby
38. “…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.” – The Great Gatsby
39. “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.” – The Great Gatsby
40. “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” – The Great Gatsby
41. “I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity.” – The Great Gatsby
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Great Gatsby Quotes About the Rawness of the Human Heart
42. “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” – The Great Gatsby
43. “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.” – The Great Gatsby
44. “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.” – The Great Gatsby
45. “It takes two to make an accident.” – The Great Gatsby
46. “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” – The Great Gatsby
47. “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him.” – The Great Gatsby
48. “Every one 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.” – The Great Gatsby
49. “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…” – The Great Gatsby
50. “‘Look at that,’ she whispered, and then after a moment: ‘I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.’” – The Great Gatsby
51. “Human sympathy has its limits.” – The Great Gatsby
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More Great Gatsby quotes
52. “The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
53. “Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
53. “Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
54. “Most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don’t in the beginning.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
55. “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
56. “Whenever you feel like criticising anyone, just remember that all of the people in the world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
57. “A sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
58. “There’s a loneliness that only exists in one’s mind. The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart and all they can do is stare blankly.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
59. “Laughter is easier, minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby
Which of these Great Gatsby quotes resonated with you best?
The Great Gatsby quotes above truly break open the humanity displayed in this classic American novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story describes the life of the wealthy Jay Gatsby through Nick Carroway’s eyes, examining the complexity of human emotion, love, life, and loss.
So, what can we learn from these sentiments brought up throughout The Great Gatsby? Through these meaningful moments throughout the novel, we can finally grasp the complexity of human emotion through love, observation and loss, as we explore how these characters view life.
Through The Great Gatsby, readers can hope to understand life as Nick, Gatsby, and Daisy do, exploring the complexity of human nature through wants and dreams, and eventually, moving forward.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Great Gatsby quotes and lines? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Tell us in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about.
March 9, 2021 6:00 AM EST