The Great Gatsby Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

846 words - 3 pages

Symbols are always used in novels to help readers understand the story in-depth. In Francis Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, symbols are widely used for Jay Gatsby and George Wilson's character development. Symbols such as the area where these two characters lived, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, and the cars in this story were all used for this. This novel was filled with symbols and symbolism, which try to convey Fitzgerald's ideas to the reader. Symbols were constantly used in Fitzgerald's novel to help develop the characters of George Wilson and Jay Gastby.An important symbol was where Jay Gatsby and George Wilson lived, and how it symbolized their dreams. The people who lived in East Egg were people who had attained the dream, wealth and power, whereas the people living in West Egg were still striving to attain it. Gatsby, a man wealthy enough to live in East Egg chose to buy an estate and live in West Egg. Gatsby's dream was not to be able to be wealthy and powerful, but it was to be together with Daisy, "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay" (Fitzgerald 76). This is why he lived in West Egg; he was still striving to achieve his dream. George Wilson, on the other hand, lived in an area between New York and West Egg that was called the "valley of ashes" (26). He was a man who lived in this "desolate area of land" (26), and ran his own garage. This was very symbolic because he was living in neither East nor West Egg, but in a place where people with lost dreams lived. The valley he lived in represented his lost dreams; he had not attained his dreams nor would ever do so. George Wilson and Jay Gatsby were two men living in two very different places, and these symbols helped develop their character.The eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg were only part of an old advertisement that had been abandoned, but was an important symbol throughout the novel. They were a symbol of a God-like figure that was always watching over the "valley of ashes" (26). The valley in which this advertisement hung was portrayed as a place where people with lost dreams lived. George Wilson had lived in this place for over "eleven years" (37) with his wife, Myrtle. He had never been able to achieve his dream of being rich, and was stuck living in this place. In a conversation with a young man named Michaelis, George refers back to an argument...

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