Symbolism In "The Great Gatsby" Essay

842 words - 3 pages

Symbolism

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is bursting with symbols and motifs. Looking deeper into these symbols will uncover the abstract and intangible themes and messages portrayed throughout the novel. The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock as well as T.J Eckleburg’s eyes overlooking the Valley of Ashes and the discrepancy between not only the characters of East and West Egg but the social class and standard of living they abide by. By uncovering all of these symbols and exposing them in their true light, a better understanding of the messages F. Scott Fitzgerald is revealing can be obtained. The confusion within the Great Gatsby can deciphered and straightened out.
The green light represents everything to Gatsby when he moves to West Egg. The green light that Gatsby is so fond of gazing at from his own house across the Long Island Sound represents his unattainable dream, and obscure future, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back carelessly into the past” (Fitzgerald 189). This excerpt from Nick Carraway about the green light focuses on the past since the future is too sinister to imagine. All hope is lost, but one day the dream might be obtained, everyone has something they long for that is just off in the distance. Gatsby moves to the East in search for Daisy; while doing so, he acquires the willingness for money, success and acceptance. It is evident in the fact that he is in need of all these traits before he can successfully reach Daisy and that is all he wants them for. He is willing to go to great lengths and get heavily involved with Meyer Wolfsheim in order to achieve his wealth. He even threw extravagant parties, inviting anybody from anywhere to gain the feeling of acceptance and popularity. The green light is symbolic of Gatsby’s dream, unattainable yet perpetual, that can be found inside everyone.
The Valley of Ashes in it of itself is a separate world from the two Eggs. Described as bleak, grotesque and desolate, it serves as a reality check, that there are people out there less fortunate than the characters form East and West Egg. This is where George and Myrtle Wilson reside...

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