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From chapter 1 of The Great Gatsby:

No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

The narrator says he lost interest in 'abortive sorrows' and 'shortwinded elations of men'. What do these phrases mean and does he mean it in a general sense or in relation to Gatsby only?

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"Abortive" means "failing to produce results," so it denotes a sorrow, probably short-lived, that doesn't cause the person to change. Likewise a "shortwinded" person quickly loses his breath on exercise, and therefore an elation is "shortwinded" if it ends quickly because it's exhausted.

Since Gatsby is dead by the end of the novel -- and the reference is to "men" in the plural -- Nick must have lost interest in men in general, because their emotional storms, however dramatic, quickly fade out with no impact.

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