Five Significant Quotes from "The Great Gatsby"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
September 27th, 2013

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Five Significant Quotes from "The Great Gatsby"

Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 American classic novel, the film "The Great Gatsby" showcases what life was like back in the 1920s. Written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film features a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan to name but a few. The film was widely anticipated before its release, even more so after the release date was pushed back to May 2013 from December 2012. Although the novel was set in New York City, filming actually took place in Sydney, Australia, with the help of tax subsidies from the Australian Government. There have been four previous films made based on the novel, but this film was by far the most highly anticipated due to its large production budget and its award-winning cast. Some of the most memorable quotes from the film are explained in greater detail below.

"Why, hello old sport!"

Jay Gatsby makes this remark to Nick Carraway on a number of different occasions. Gatsby is a mysterious character who few have ever met even though everyone seems to have heard of him. After moving in next door to Gatsby, Nick is invited to one of Gatsby's many parties. The two meet one night and strike up a quick friendship, which results in Gatsby taking Nick out to lunch in order to get to know him better. Despite the obvious gulf in class between the pair, Gatsby still insists on referring to Nick as old sport. The phrase is repeated so often that it becomes one of the most recognizable in the whole film.

"Can't repeat the past? No, why, of course you can. My life, my life has got to be like this. It's got to keep going up."

Outraged that Nick would dismiss his chances of getting back together with Daisy, Gatsby reiterates that he and Daisy can pick up their romance where it left off five years previously. However, in the meantime Daisy has married Tom Buchanan. Nick organizes a meeting between Gatsby and Daisy, so they can have the chance to rekindle their romance. Daisy realizes she has feelings for Gatsby, but she wants them to run away together. This dismays Gatsby, who had imagined they would live together in his mansion. Nick rightfully raises an objection due to the fact that a lot has changed since Gatsby and Daisy were last in contact with one another. However, Gatsby has his heart set on turning the clock back five years and hoping that everything would return to the way it was.

"I wish we could just run away…I wish I had done everything on earth with you."

Daisy makes this comment to Gatsby after realizing that she had always truly loved him. Although Gatsby is flattered by this, he had always hoped that Daisy would stay with him in his impressive mansion. It is at this moment that Daisy began to split her loyalties, as she still felt like she had to do the right thing by her husband. At that time, simply leaving Tom and moving in with Gatsby was incomprehensible.

"She has to tell him she never loved him."

Gatsby makes this remark to Nick when deciding how he and Daisy are to move forward in their relationship. After getting back together, Daisy is involved in an affair behind her husband's back. For Gatsby, the pressure is too much to handle, so he stops hosting parties at his mansion and fires almost all his staff. In order to put an end to the doubts, he asks Nick to come along to a meeting with Daisy's husband Tom, where the intention is that Daisy will reveal her true feelings for Gatsby. However, she cannot do it, and so Gatsby has to do it for her. As expected, a confrontation ensues between Tom and Gatsby.

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

This quote, made by Nick when looking back at his time with Gatsby, was the last line of the book and was also so in the film. The point that Nick is trying to make is that everyone wishes to move forward into the future, except that their pasts are holding them back somewhat. This line has a hidden meaning in that it was only a short boat ride from Gatsby's mansion over to where Daisy lived with Tom. Despite the short distance between them, and all Gatsby's efforts trying to get to Daisy, he was unable to create a new future for them.