Symbolism is the use of giving objects a representative meaning or to represent something other than what it truly is. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby we meet Nick Carroway, the novel's narrator. The novel describes the life of Jay Gatsby when Nick meets him. Daisy, Nick's cousin, is married to Tom Buchanan but is the love interest of Gatsby. Tom, though he claims to love his wife, has a mistress Myrtle. Myrtle and her Husband George Wilson live in the valley of ashes. The novel analyzes the life of Americans, Jay Gatsby in particular, in the 1920's. Many of the items in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby represent something other than what it is.
One night when Nick returns home from dinner with his cousin Daisy, her husband, Tom and their friend Jordan, he sees his neighbor Jay Gatsby outside looking out over the water into the darkness. Nick “involuntarily... glance[s] seaward – and distinguish[es] nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock” (Fitzgerald 24). This green light that Nick sees happens to be the light at the end of Daisy's dock on the other side of the water. The green light is used by F. Scott Fitzgerald to symbolize a few different things.
Jay Gatsby is a man who is has been in love with Daisy since he met her. He is so infatuated with her that he buys the house directly across the water from hers and he throws big extravagant parties, that he does not attend himself, in hopes that Daisy will show up at one. According to James E. Miller Jr's article “On the Meaning of the Novel”, the green light “serves well as the symbol for the man in hurried pursuit of a beckoning but ever-elusive dream.” This dream being the American dream. As stated by Miller,“... no better symbol than the green light could be used for America's restless, reckless pursuit of the 'American Dream.'” Throughout the novel Gatsby is trying to achieve his dream of making a name for himself and trying to gain the love of Daisy. Gatsby as a young man leaves his parents and changes him name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby to start his career. He creates the man who he wants to be in order to achieve this 'American Dream'.
The green light not only represents Gatsby's dream but, also Daisy and money. Abby Werlock...