Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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How does an understanding of metaphor and symbolism help us to appreciate the significance of cars in ‘The Great Gatsby’? The Great Gatsby is a deep and complex novel. There are many layers to the characters and the plot, and this depth is often due to the way in which F. Scott Fitzgerald uses both metaphors and symbolism throughout. Of the many different symbols present in the novel, one of the most prominent and interesting is the car, as not only do cars remain relevant to the story from start to finish, but when we consider the possible use of symbolism, we can uncover their true significance. First and foremost it is important first to consider when and also how cars are referenced throughout the story. The first time a car is mentioned…show more content…
Simpson, P states that ‘most metaphorical mappings are transmitted through familiar, commonly occurring linguistic expressions.’ The given example of this is the metaphor ‘IDEAS ARE FOOD’, which can be seen in a “variety of everyday constructions like ‘I can’t stomach that idea’ and, ‘your theory’s half baked’”. When we think about these phrases, the connection between ideas and food are evident, and undeniable, whereas the connection between cars and desires is far vaguer. It is however, interesting to consider the reasoning behind making comparisons between food and ideas. In extract 10, Knowles and Moon suggest that metaphors such as these are ‘convention metaphors’ and are often used to help the reader gain a better understanding of something. Thus, when we consider the way in which we ‘consume’ and ‘cook’ ideas just like food, we gain a new understanding of them. Likewise in ‘The Great Gatsby’, Fitzgerald may be using cars in order to aid the reader in gaining a better understanding of each character 's desires. However in this case, Fitzgerald is using a ‘creative metaphor’ rather than conventional as this type of metaphor is not ‘institutionalised in
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