Jay Gatsby’s Heroism Essay

863 words - 3 pages

Novalis, the great German philosopher, once said that, "A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer." In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main character, Jay Gatsby, will do anything to acquire his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. The 1920’s novel sets the stage for Gatsby to showcase his prominence in the society of West Egg, New York through the descriptive language and emotion that Fitzgerald writes with. Jay Gatsby’s heroicness is displayed through the symbolism of the green light, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, and the contrast between East Egg and West Egg.
The first symbol that the reader is introduced to is the mysterious green light. When Nick Carraway first sees the illustrious Gatsby, he is trembling and begins to “[stretch] out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way” (25). The green light is located at the end of Daisy’s dock, and is a symbol for Gatsby’s dream and hope for the future. Gatsby is seen as worshipping the green light and the lust that it possesses. He craves to see and love Daisy again. The color green symbolizes the hope and promise that Gatsby has of recapturing the love he had with Daisy in Louisville. His dream seems to come to fruition when he realizes that the green light is no longer of colossal significance but merely just “a green light on a dock” (98). The fantasy of his rekindled love is closer than it has ever been and no longer appears as though it is out of reach. Also, Fitzgerald compares the green light to the "green breast of the new world" (189). The author’s comparison of Gatsby’s dream to the explorer’s discovery of the America emphasizes how vitally important Daisy is to him and how close he was to embracing her in his life. However, his dream is tarnished because of Daisy’s need for high social status and modern America’s need for wealth. Gatsby’s constant yearning for Daisy displays the most human of characteristics, love. He is hero because he will not stop, even when his goal seems out of reach.
Another symbol of Gatsby’s valiance is the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg that embody the atrocious society that Gatsby is trying to accustom himself with. Eckleburg’s eyes are a part of an advertising billboard in the infamous Valley of Ashes. The material-driven world in which the novel takes place is represented by Eckleburg’s eyes, which...

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