Isolation Theme in The Great Gatsby

Isolation is always present among the characters in The Great Gatsby. In particular, Gatsby is always isolated from everyone, even among his lavish parties with hundreds of people. Nick is fearful of reaching


Great Gatsby Quotes about Isolation


“Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away” (page 6)

Gatsby “was content to be alone” (page 25).

Nick says “I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table – the only place in the garden where a single man could linger without looking purposeless and alone” (page 46).

Jordan says “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy” (page 54).

Gatsby was “standing alone on the marble steps… I could see nothing sinister about him. I wondered if the fact that he as not drinking helped to set him off from his guests, for it seemed to me that he grew more correct as the fraternal hilarity increased” (page 54).

“A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell” (page 60).

“At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others – poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner – young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life” (page 62).


When Daisy asks Gatsby how he lives all alone, he responds “I keep it always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people” (page 96).

“Flushed with his impassioned gibberish he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization” (page 137).

“They were gone, without a word, snapped out, made accidental, isolated like ghosts even from our pity” (page 142).

After Gatsby dies, Wolfshiem tells Nick: “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead… After that my own rule is to let everything alone” (page 180).