Imagery In The Great Gatsby Essay American

Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

1207 Words5 Pages

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has more relevance in today’s society than it did when it was written. With the recent societal trend that emphasizes lack of morals and material wealth over a meaningful existence, Fitzgerald’s message really hits home. Which is more important - money or love? Social status or being true to oneself? Fitzgerald uses metaphor and symbols to great effect in order to illustrate what can happen when the pursuit of happiness becomes warped (by American ideals) into the pursuit of money.

One of the major symbols in the novel is the color green. Green represents the hopes and dreams of people striving to accomplish the American dream of wealth and glory.…show more content…

The valley of ashes represents the byproduct of a nation obsessed with money. It is filled with the gray industrial ashes of the factories that helped to catapult dreamers to the top of the world. It also symbolizes the lower class. The people living in the towns nearby are described as gray and solemn. They are washed up because they were unable to accomplish their goals and fulfill the American dream. Wilson, for example, is described as someone with "an ashen, dust veiled suit" and "pale hair." The ash heap is described as a place "where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills." As those ashes pile up, they bury the hopes of people seeking the American dream.

The towns of East and West Egg are also symbolic. The people of East Egg represent those who already have wealth from inheritance. The people of West Egg represent those people who have gained their wealth through hard work and business. Gatsby has lots of money but he will always be "subtly incompatible" with the affluent society of East Egg. East Egg also represents old money and the east coast, whereas West Egg represents new money and the west coast. Throughout the novel, characters openly rebuke the west. For example, early in the novel Nick says, "Oh, I'll stay in the East, don't you worry."

The weather is another symbol that is used primarily for the purpose of setting the general mood of the book. Moments of death

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Symbols and Imagery in F. Scott Ftizgerald's The Great Gatsby

610 Words3 Pages

F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his use of symbols and imagery throughout The Great Gatsby to illustrate his many ideas and themes. The green light is a symbol that seems to pervade the novel, taking on many meanings. The image of the green light is presented in Chapter 1, as Gatsby extended his arms to the “single green light” at Daisy’s dock as if it were some sort of religious icon. Jordan also confirms this sense of idolization when she says that “Gatsby bought [his] house so that Daisy would be just across the bay,” suggesting his obsessive devotion to Daisy (77). As shown in Chapter 9, the green light can also be interpreted as a symbol of growth. Near the end of the novel, Fitzgerald illustrates Daisy’s dock transforming into the…show more content…

F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his use of symbols and imagery throughout The Great Gatsby to illustrate his many ideas and themes. The green light is a symbol that seems to pervade the novel, taking on many meanings. The image of the green light is presented in Chapter 1, as Gatsby extended his arms to the “single green light” at Daisy’s dock as if it were some sort of religious icon. Jordan also confirms this sense of idolization when she says that “Gatsby bought [his] house so that Daisy would be just across the bay,” suggesting his obsessive devotion to Daisy (77). As shown in Chapter 9, the green light can also be interpreted as a symbol of growth. Near the end of the novel, Fitzgerald illustrates Daisy’s dock transforming into the “fresh green breast of the new world” before sailors, struck by the verdant and fertile virgin American soil. This image establishes the discrepancy between Gatsby’s dream and the “American Dream” while also expressing the inability to repeat the past. The color green also represents money, making it appropriate that Gatsby acknowledges a woman whose voice is “full of money”. The connection of the green light with money also adds to the downfall of Gatsby’s dream due to it being “the foul dust” that lingers in “the wake of [his] dreams” (2).
Fitzgerald’s use of clocks and time in the novel prove to be symbolic in many ways. These symbols become evident as time pesters Gatsby during the course of the novel. Gatsby’s memory is disrupted by

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