Symbols And Symbolism In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

620 words - 2 pages

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Symbolism is able to produce immense emotions. Fitzgerald applies symbolism to three of the most significant characters in "The Great Gatsby" to illustrate incisive sentiments.

Fitzgerald's description of Tom Buchanan's colossal house signifies Tom and his values. The red and white colors of the Buchanan's mansion represent Tom's personality. Red customarily exemplifies impurity and boldness, while white signifies Tom's superior attitude towards other individuals. His "red" disposition is presented by the audacity of his exposed affair with Myrtle and his "white" character is portrayed through his racist comments throughout the book. A Georgian Colonial mansion signifies Tom's racist personality due to the past history of the Southern states prejudices against African-Americans. Fitzgerald's diction of "Colonial" also expresses that Tom is old-money and was raised from a prep-school background, which alludes the reader that he is not a very open-minded character, but relies more heavily upon literary knowledge. The house is distinctly a portrayal of Tom and his bold, egotistical, racist, scholarly manner.

Fitzgerald's usage of the green dock light symbolizes Gatsby's fantasies of Daisy. "...he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone- he stretched out his arms toward his arms toward the dark water...and a single green light, ...that might have been the end of a dock.(26). Gatsby extends his arm and his very soul towards the green light, Daisy, for guidance and peace. This connection with the dock light allows Gatsby to be gratified while alone(189). "If it wasn't for the mist we could see your home across the bay...You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock"(98). Although, Gatsby seldom comprehends...

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