Excerpt from “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald ~~Mr. Nobody~~

picture-GreatGatsby-FitzgeraldGatsby’s foot beat a short, restless tattoo and Tom eyed him suddenly.
“By the way, Mr. Gatsby, I understand you’re an Oxford man.”
“Not exactly.”
“Oh, yes, I understand you went to Oxford.”
“Yes – I went there.”
A pause. Then Tom’s voice, incredulous and insulting:
“You must have gone there about the time Biloxi went to New Haven.”
Another pause. A waiter knocked and came in with crushed mint and ice but the silence was unbroken by his “Thank you” and the soft closing of the door. This tremendous detail was to be cleared up at last.
“I told you I went there,” said Gatsby.
“I heard you, but I’d like to know when.”
“It was in nineteen-nineteen, I only stayed five months. That’s why I can’t really call myself an Oxford man.”
Tom glanced around to see if we mirrored his unbelief. But we were all looking at Gatsby.
“It was an opportunity they gave to some of the officers after the Armistice,” he continued. “We could go to any of the universities in England or France.”
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back. I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I’d experienced before.
Daisy rose, smiling faintly, and went to the table.
“Open the whiskey, Tom,” she ordered. “And I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself. . . . Look at the mint!”
“Wait a minute,” snapped Tom, “I want to ask Mr. Gatsby one more question.”
“Go on,” Gatsby said politely.
“What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house anyhow?”
They were out in the open at last and Gatsby was content.
“He isn’t causing a row.” Daisy looked desperately from one to the other. “You’re causing a row. Please have a little self control.”
“Self control!” repeated Tom incredulously. “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out. . . . Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.”
Flushed with his impassioned gibberish he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.
“We’re all white here,” murmured Jordan.
“I know I’m not very popular. I don’t give big parties. I suppose you’ve got to make your house into a pigsty in order to have any friends–in the modern world.”
Angry as I was, as we all were, I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth. The transition from libertine to prig was so complete.
“I’ve got something to tell you, old sport,—-” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.
“Please don’t!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please let’s all go home. Why don’t we all go home?”
“That’s a good idea.” I got up. “Come on, Tom. Nobody wants a drink.”
“I want to know what Mr. Gatsby has to tell me.”
“Your wife doesn’t love you,” said Gatsby. “She’s never loved you. She loves me.”
“You must be crazy!” exclaimed Tom automatically.
Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement.

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald ~~Mr. Nobody~~

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA on 24 September 1896, and died on 21 December 1940, aged 44 years.
    ‘The Great Gatsby’ was published in April 1925.

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