The Great Gatsby

by: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chapter 8

1

He might have despised himself, for [Gatsby] had certainly taken her under false pretenses . . . he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself—that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities—he had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to be blown anywhere about the world.

2

Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.

3

Just before I reached the hedge I remembered something . . . ‘They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted . . . ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’ I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end.

4

I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestral home, three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption—and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.

5

[P]erhaps [Gatsby] no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.