their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire

p. 17:

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.

These women aren’t quite human, but they’re exactly what a young man sees when he’s confronted with their unattainable allure. Fitzgerald is sometimes criticized for his depiction of women, but I think the critics miss the point – he doesn’t know women, and his writing does a perfect rendering of that area of inexpertise.

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