Essay On The Great Gatsby Symbolism

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

867 Words4 Pages

Gatsby Essay

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. For example, a dove is usually used to represent peace. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald uses a lot of symbolism to connect the characters with each other or to other objects. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism helps advance his thematic interest in his novel of The Great Gatsby. In the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses various colors, objects, and gestures as symbols to portray the lack of moral and spiritual values of people and the different aspects of society in the 1920's. One use of symbolism Fitzgerald uses is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He uses it to…show more content…

He also connects the color yellow, on Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’s glasses, with the greed and wealth of the characters. Another symbol used in The Great Gatsby is the Valley of Ashes. The Valley of Ashes is located between West Egg and New York City, and all it is, is land with the dumping of industrial ashes all over it. It represents the moral and social decay that results from wealth, as the rich enjoy nothing but their own pleasure. It also symbolizes the poor who live among the dirty ashes and lose their strength as a result. “This is a valley of ashes-a fantastic farm where ashes grown like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powder air.”(27) Looking over the valley of ashes are the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. “The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic…they look out of no face, but instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles.”(27) The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg could represent God staring down on the American society. They’re just a pair of fading eyes painted on an old billboard over the valley of ashes. Fitzgerald uses the eyes to suggest symbols only mean something because of the characters put meaning in them. George Wilson makes the connection of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes symbolizing God. They could also represent the meaninglessness of the

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Essay on Symbols of The Great Gatsby

1249 Words5 Pages

The 1920s were a time of big dreams, moral decline, and hardships in America . The Roaring Twenties were a different time altogether with its bootleggers and speakeasies, women becoming more independent, the poor becoming poorer, but through all this was The American Dream keeping the hope afloat. F. Scott Fitzgerald captured this era in his book, The Great Gatsby. Through his many symbols he illustrates the hopes, the forgotten God, and the oppressed Americans of the Twenties. The symbols in The Great Gatsby help convey several different themes, from wealth to loss of morals, to poverty.
The green light in The Great Gatsby is an ambiguous symbol. The green light is deceiving at first, tricking the reader into thinking it is…show more content…

” (Fitzgerald 98). The green light then changes its meaning to despair for now it is but a dream, a wistful, hopeless dream. Once Gatsby’s dream is within reach, his usual parties and extravagances are changed. “Each step towards the green light, however, shadows some part of Gatsby’s grandiose achievement. With Daisy’s disapproval the spectroscopic parties cease. To preserve her reputation Gatsby empties his mansion of lights and servants. And finally only darkness and ghostly memories tenant the deserted house” (Koster 37). The green light for Gatsby was a five year dream. The light is Daisy and hope for the future; however, the green light remains forever across the bay from him, just out of reach. God seems to be just out of reach as well. God is portrayed as a billboard that watches over the immoral occurrences of the valley of ashes. He is nothing more than a pair of eyes put there for business purposes and then forgotten. God was put on the back burner in the 1920s , while social lives and personal wants were brought to the front burner. “But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg…Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away .” (Fitzgerald 27) God has been belittled to nothing more than an

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