Literary Tattoos: The Great Gatsby Single Words F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is Dominick’s tattoo.

Simply the word “integrity.” I wanted it to be phonetically spelled because of my extreme passion for words.

In college when I learned or came along new words, it excited me to look them up. The word “integrity” comes from my interpretation in a line from “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, my favorite author. Nick Carraway is making an assessment of himself as a man in chapter 3. He thinks:

“Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”

That quote in the book stands out for me every time i read it. Fitzgerald once said, “You can stroke people with words.” I believe it.


  1. wry says

    Wow, cool tattoo (not to diminish your scar – I myself have an 8 inch scar on me and it has no issues whatsoever sharing my skin with a tattoo, hope yours does the same =D)! Simple and special at the same time.

    Also the idea of stroking people with words is definitely something that speaks to me.

  2. cait says

    awesome tattoo. love the story behind it. never read the great gatsby (gasp!) but your tattoo is still cool :)

  3. Kim says

    I think this is an awesome tattoo.

    I was thinking about getting the word 'honesty' tattooed on my wrist with the same break down of the the word like you have and was just courious, since you love grammar, as to why the there is a different marking between the 'teg' and 'ri'. And if there would be one in the word "honesty" lmao

  4. dominick says

    the " ` " is the mark to denote an accented syllable. in "honesty" it would be on the first syllable.

  5. ellen says


    Shouldn't it be in'tegrity, since the emphasis is on teg? at least that's what we were thought in our phonetics class…?

  6. conor says

    yes, i like the idea of the tattoo, but unfortunately it has two colossal mistakes.

    a) You messed up the whole breakdown of integrity. That stress symbol should come before the t in 'teg', as a primary stress is always indicated before the stressed syllable and not after it lol. You placed it after the 'teg' syllable, making it sound like integRITy. Also, it's not a phonetic transcription of integrity, it's merely a syllabic representation of it.

    b) Second problem, as I love this book and am a pretty big buff of Fitzgerald: that would be what we call an omniscient narrator lol. He's definitely not a person of paramount integrity, and many would say his tone of voice is a bit self-righteous and ironic when he says he's one of the few honest people he's ever known. So not only did you fuck up the syllabic breakdown of the word, you completely failed to understand the original context of the quote. Well done mate!

  7. Aaron says

    Love it. Absolutely love it. Speaking of grammar breakdowns, where would that accent be on the word "memento?" Checking dictionaries I don't see the accents listed in their syllabical breakdowns. I considered doing mine with the pronunciation breakdown but it is just too whacky for my liking.

  8. says

    The advantage of a tattoo is that it gives a meaning to your body and style, and a good quality of colors and designs shows off the benefits of the art. You can even get inspiration from the tattoos worn by other people. However, think well before you decide on your tattoo. Realize the advantage of the tattoo design you have chosen before inking since tattoo is as permanent as your skin and I am sure you don’t want to go through painful and expensive surgery to remove a tattoo.

  9. Hi says

    I hope you realise that that line in the book isn't to be taken at face-value. Nick is anything BUT honest, and in that line he is being profoundly big-headed.


Leave a Reply