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The Green Light At The End Of The Dock

1174 words - 5 pages

A few symbolisms in novels are as memorable as the green light in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Shining at the end of Daisy’s dock, it is close enough to be seen, but too far away to be reached. Still, Gatsby, an eternal optimist, stares at it at night, as if it showed him that all his far-away dreams were about to come true. The green light in The Great Gatsby is symbolic of hope, a source of inspiration, and a representation of the American Dream to Gatsby and to the novel’s readers.
Gatsby’s aspirations reflect the time period. The “Roaring Twenties”, as it is called, was a period of prosperity, and the Americans were obsessed with acquiring wealth, and thought that “those who ...view middle of the document...

Even though he knows that his dreams are unreachable, he still hopes that they will come true. In the book, Gatsby’s quixotic dreams led to his death; in real life, the idealistic search for money led to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s (Gross 150-151). The Great Gatsby, first published in 1925, echoes its era, and predicts its tragic end. In the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald “revealed the negative side of the period’s gaiety and freedom, portraying wealthy and attractive people leading imperiled lives in gilded surroundings” (Danzer 656).It illustrate “the dying American Dream and the corruption of historical values”(Bewley 23). The wealthy characters in the book are careless, materialistic and empty, showing the corrupt side of the American Dream, but Gatsby is different. In the novel, Nick describes him as having “an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such I have never found in any other person and which is not likely I shall ever find again” (Fitzgerald 2).He kept believing and fighting for his dreams to the very end, even after it became clear that Daisy would not leave Tom to stay with him.
This persistence in following his dream made Gatsby an inspirational character for many people that make the green light their own. For them, it does not only represent Gatsby's dreams, but also their dreams. It showed them that even if your dreams might seem to be impossible, there is always hope (Rimmer). Gatsby’ did not achieve his goals, he believed, and “he made the American Dream his own, and died by it” (kazin 31). Nick leads us to believe that Gatsby is better than the others, because he is just a desperate man trying to bring back himself from his past, and the book is written through Nick’s vision, that cannot be considered the absolute truth. Gatsby is as materialistic as the others and he dedicate his life to the quest of money and status, achieving it by being a bootlegger, but still the readers sympathize with him. Why? Because of his “goodness and faith in life, his compelling desire to realize all the possibilities of existence, his belief that we can have an earthly paradise populated by the Buchanans” (Bewley 28). Gatsby is the American Dream. He embodies everything that was good and bad during the 1920s, everything that people were striving for, and still he was not happy (Kazin...

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