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Mansion Symbolism In F. Scott Fitzgerald´S The Great Gatsby

1526 words - 7 pages

In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are many symbols that not only shows the greed and simple mindedness of the time, but also provide great clairvoyance into not only the story, but the character themselves. Jay Gatsby’s mansion is a superb example of this and is relatable to almost every part of the novel; it symbolizes the essence of the American Dream, being that from such a small start, Gatsby is able to have such a magnificent mansion, but it also has a negative connotation to what it symbolizes, which is the blindness to reality, and the true form and essence of Jay Gatsby himself.
Jay Gatsby’s mansion is the quintessence of the idealized American Dream; it shows all ...view middle of the document...

“It was a photo of the house, cracked in the corners and dirty with many hands...He had shown it so often that I think it was more real to him now than the house itself” (180). This is what eventually happens to Gatsby’s dream, all it becomes is a picture that he sent his dad, a picture which has more significance than actually the house in the picture. He uses that picture to show off his prosperous son, but once he sees the house in person, it means nothing to him. Gatsby seemed to have achieved the American dream, but really all he achieved was something that was very shallow, because once he was gone, he faded into the distance in everyone’s minds.
The mansion also has a negative connotation because it shows the blindness to clear cut reality which Jay Gatsby has towards his entire life; he is chasing after the one thing he lost, and can never have again, and that thing is Daisy, and his method to try and get her is to have such a lavish house that she will want to be with him. “‘I wouldn’t ask too much of her,’ I ventured. ‘You can’t repeat the past.’ ‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’ He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand. ‘I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,’ he said, nodding determinedly. ‘She’ll see’” (117). This characterizes how Gatsby thinks he can repeat the past through money, and that money is in the form of his own house; he uses the house to draw attention to himself, trying to get Daisy back, but this is unsuccessful, and Gatsby refuses to accept defeat. Gatsby is a sad soul stuck in the past, unable to move on into the present. He thinks money can solve all of his problems, which in a way, can solve a few, but not the ones he deems worth solving. “The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard—it was a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (9). This illustrates the grandeur of Gatby’s house and how he does not really care about all that he has, rather he just wants Daisy, and he finds money, in the form of his house, a method back to her arms. He is incapable of passion because he is far too green with not only envy but greed; he is blind to the true and wonderful things in life, and is focused on those things that once we all are gone, no one will care about. “His house had never seemed so enormous to me as it did that night when we hunted through the great rooms for cigarettes. We pushed aside curtains that were like pavilions, and felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for electric light switches—once I tumbled with a sort of splash upon the keys of a ghostly piano. There was an inexplicable amount of dust everywhere, and the rooms were musty, as though they hadn’t been aired for many days” (155). Gatsby’s...

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