A national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter I) on Rap Genius

Meaning

A traditional problem of “high school/undergrad heroes” and sports players — after a brief career in the limelight, everything afterwards seems pale in comparison. This is part of the reason why Tom cheats on Daisy: he is always looking to regain that thrill he had in his younger days.

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