F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
“Hulking,” insisted Daisy. Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once,
unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire. They were here, and they accepted Tom and me, making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too would be over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the West, where an evening was hurried from phase to phase toward its close, in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself. “You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy,” I confessed on my
second glass of corky but rather impressive claret. “Can‟t you talk about crops or something?” I meant nothing in particular by this remark, but it was
taken up in an unexpected way. “Civilization‟s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently.
“I‟ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read „The Rise of the Colored Empires‟ by this man Goddard?” “Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.