50 Of The Most Beautiful Lines In "The Great Gatsby"

In honor of the book's 90th anniversary.

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1. "I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity."

2. "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."

3. "I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life."

4. "Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead."

5. "He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night."

6. "You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me."

7. "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired."

8. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

9. "Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope."

10. "They had never been closer in their month of love, nor communicated more profoundly one with another."

11. "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."

12. "But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor."

13. "No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."

14. "I couldn't forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified."

15. "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion."

16. "It takes two to make an accident."

17. "All I kept thinking about, over and over, was 'You can't live forever; you can't live forever.'"

18. "So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight."

19. "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."

20. "In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."

21. "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him."

22. "Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window."

23. "She was feeling the pressure of the world outside and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all."

24. "There I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn't care."

25. "The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain."

26. "He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was."

27. "Thirty — the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair."

28. "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."

29. "I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes."

30. "So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight, watching over nothing."

31. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."

32. "It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment."

33. "So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star."

34. "People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away."

35. "Human sympathy has its limits, and we were contented to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind."

36. "I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye."

37. "One emotion after another crept into her face like objects into a slowly developing picture."

38. "Their eyes met and they stared together at each other, alone in space."

39. "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."

40. "I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."

41. "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."

42. "What was it up there in the song that seemed to be calling her back inside? What would happen now in the dim, incalculable hours?"

43. "Calmness wasn't an end in itself."

44. "Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on."

45. "He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass."

46. "He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand."

47. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one ... just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

48. "You're very polite, but I belong to another generation."

49. "He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. 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. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

50. "And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler."

We originally accidentally featured two identical quotes on this list; thanks to a commenter, we've replaced one of them with an even better string of sentences from The Great Gatsby.