Identify speaker(s), plot, and significance of the following quotes from The Great Gatsby?    1. "It's just a crazy old thing, " she said. " I just slip it on sometimes whenI don't care whatI...

Identify speaker(s), plot, and significance of the following quotes from The Great Gatsby?  


1. "It's just a crazy old thing, " she said. " I just slip it on sometimes whenI don't care whatI look like."

2. "'As a matter of fact you needn't bother to ascertain. I ascertained. They're real"... He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf, muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse."

3. "I had on a new plaid skirt also that blew a little in the wind, and whenever this happened the red, white, and blue banners in front of all the houses streched out stiff and said TUT-TUT-TUT-TUT, in a disapproving way....The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay's house."

4. "I've got my hands full," I said. "I'm much obliged butI couldn't take on any more work."

5. He came back from France and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville He stayed there a week, walking the streets where their footsteps had clicked together through the November night and revisiting the out-of-the-way places to which they had driven in her white his idea of the city itself, even thought she was gone from it, was pervaded with a melancholy beauty.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1.This first quote from The Great Gatsby is a remark that Mrs. Wilson makes to Mrs. McGee in response to the compliment about her dress in Chapter 2 while Tom and Mrytle, Jay Gatsby and Nick are in the hotel room in New York.  The statement by Mrs. Wilson displays her affectations of wealth because the dress is one that Tom has bought her.  When she wears the dress, Mrytle is transformed and assumes the attitude of one who is wealthy, underlining the theme of appearances and reality.  This statement by Mrs. Wilson is ironic since clothes and personal appearance are of important in the context of the novel.

3.This quote is from Jordan Baker in Chapter 4 in which she relates to Nick the Fourth of July party at Daisy's in 1917, the one in which she sees Daisy and Jay Gatsby together, an incident that seemed "romantic to me.  I have remembered the incident ever since."  That Jordan has on patriotic colors is hypocritical of her because she is reluctant to go to the Red Cross and make bandages when Daisy asks her.

4.  This statement comes from Nick in Chapter 5 when Gatsby offers Nick work involving his underworld dealings.  Nick wants nothing to do with any illegal activity.

5.This quote is part of Nick's narration in Chapter 8.  Nick goes to Gatsby's and asks him what happened after he left Gatsby standing in the moonlight outside Daisy's window, "watching over nothing."  Gatsby tells him that nothing has happened; Nick suggests he go away.  But Gatsby "was clutching at some last hope..." and then tells Nck the story of his youth, and how he met Daisy.  The passage is part of Nick's narration of Gatsby's story.





copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You have too much here to cover in a single question. But I'll address the second quotation you identify.

This quotation is spoken by Owl Eyes to Nick inside Gatsby's library during one of the parties. From this indirect characterization of Gatsby, we learn many things. First we learn that Gatsby's wealth is "real in the sense that the books gathered in the library are not fakes and are not an attempt to give the appearance of wealth or learning. In many ways, Gatsby is not putting on airs or keeping up appearances; he is what he claims and appears to be. However, the second part of the quotation is equally important. The idea that removing one book could make the entire library collapse suggests that Gatsby himself is fragile and that he too could collapse. This hints at many of the lingering questions concerning Gatsby throughout the novel: the means by which his wealth was acquired, his purpose in being on East Egg, and his throwing of these parties. More importantly is the fragility of Gatsby's dream--one false move, one slight shift, and "one fine morning" all could be lost.

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The Great Gatsby

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