Symbols In The Great Gatsby

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“Three major symbols from The Great Gatsby, their meaning and how they function together to support a central theme.” The Great Gatsby is a parabolic love story that epitomises the fragmentation of the American dream in an era of social pandemonium and material excess. Written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the novel did not gain mainstream success until after the author’s death when the accuracy of his social commentary was fully recognised. Drawing inspiration from the author’s personal life, the story revolves around multiple upper-class individuals situated in Long Island, New York, most particularly the enigmatic and idealistic Jay Gatsby and intelligent societal onlooker Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald incorporates symbolism throughout his novel in an attempt to emphasise different significant…show more content…
The prevalent green light referenced throughout, represents the titular character’s ever elusive aspirations and desires. Moreover, the colour is signified as conflicting, representing the uncertain future of people and their aspirations. To Gatsby, the “minute and far away (p. 29)” light epitomises his hope to be reunited with the whimsical Daisy Buchanan, as well as his inability to move on from the past. In falling in love with her, Gatsby believes he has found a way for his dreams to become tangible, through gaining enough wealth and status to impress her. However, as noted by Nick in the novel, this does nothing more than present Gatsby with an outlet for his false hope. He fails to acknowledge the space between himself and Daisy; the great divide, as well as the contemptibility of his dream, forcing him on a tumultuous path that leads to the demise of both his American dream and life. As the green light remains ever out of reach, the subject of Gatsby’s dream would never truly have been his, especially without
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