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This quote is from chapter 1 pg 2 (my copy)
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had."
This quote sets the tone for the rest of the book. Through all the vapid and superficial people that Nick comes across in East Egg, the meaning of this bit of advice is amplified .