The Great Gatsby

Literary Tattoos: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is Craig R.’s tattoo:

It’s a piece inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and it has a very large significance to me.

I read Gatsby in AP English last year and the book really inspired me. My teacher always challenged us to figure out what Fitzgerald, through Nick Carraway, was trying to say when he stops his thought of “And one fine morning–”. The quote that stood out to me was the final words of the novel, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” It really stuck when my teacher passed away unexpectedly in March. We really are just boats against the current always going back to the past.

My piece features the final quote entwined with Gatsby’s iconic cover–the face of Daisy Buchanan, complete with the green teardrop and the reclining nudes in the eyes. My tattoo artist and I took some artistic liberties with the rouge and the colors are a bit freer than the book cover, but artistically, it’s almost identical. He came up with the idea that we could put the words in the hair, and I was immediately on board. It was an hour and a half and probably is my favorite of my two tattoos.

If I ever expand on it I’ll probably add the “And one fine morning–” quote and possibly make a reference somewhere to the green light so prevalent in the novel.


  1. tamsin francis says

    Its not supposed to be Daisy you know… they are the ‘disembodied eyes’ from the poster in the Valley of Ashes, the eyes that haunt Nick… Dr TJ Eckleburg… They are supposed to be the eyes of god, watching over what is happening.

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