Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

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Symbols in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby is based on a man named Jay Gatsby and his idealistic infatuation to a girl named Daisy that he met while he was young. Gatsby was not of a wealthy family and therefore Daisy would not marry him. Gatsby devoted his life to getting what he needed to win Daisy. After the war Gatsby became a bootlegger to attain what he needed to win Daisy. 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. The colors which are spread throughout the novel are green, white, gold, and others. F. Scott Fitzgerald provides a social commentary on the 1920's in this novel. The Great Gatsby is an important American novel and not just a mere historical document depicting life in the 1920's. Like other writers of the 20's Fitzgerald was fascinated by the spectacle of what had become of the American Dream and how it had become corrupted by greed andmaterialistic possessions. At the end of Chapter One, Nick catches Gatsby stretching his arms out towards a green light. At the time it is not revealed to us that this is the light at the end of Daisy's dock. he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward--and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. (Fitzgerald 26) Throughout the novel Fitzgerald emphasizes the color green as a promise of hope. Through Gatsby this promise is corrupted by the means that he tries to attain it. By attaining material wealth to win Daisy, Gatsby also shows the corruption of the American Dream. In the beginning of Chapter Two, Fitzgerald describes the huge billboard that watches over the Valley of Ashes. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic---their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose.
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