What Does The Green Light Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock symbolizes the progression of Gatsby’s dream of rewriting the past with Daisy. After Nick returns from a dinner party at Tom and Daisy Buchanan's house he spots Gatsby standing by the shore, “he stretched his arms out 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). That moment is the first mention of the green light in the novel. The way the light is described as “minute and far away” corresponds to the fact that Gatsby can see what he is …show more content…

He metaphorically reaches for her with the parties but she stays far away. When Gatsby finally does have Daisy in his house and his dream in his hands, the light is “again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one” (Fitzgerald 98). Daisy is standing in his house staring out the window with him, and in that moment it all becomes real. The idea that he can create a completely new life with Daisy is not a fantasy, but something he sees as reality. The light at the end of her dock is no longer the magical idea of being with Daisy now that she is there. Everything he has worked up to for years comes together as they look on at what used to represent all of Gatsby’s hopes and ambitions. He keeps his eye on that dream for as long as he lives, coming so close as to grasp it in his hands, only to have it slip through his fingers again. As proven by the evening spent in New York, Daisy can not let go of her past with Tom and act like it had never happened but “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us”(Fitzgerald

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