Essay The Green Light in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay The Green Light in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Green Light

Essay Question: “Gastby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and then one fine morning - So we beat on, boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald, 171)

Why is this quote one of the most significant quotes from the novel? Answer this question whilst referring to the way in which this quote sums up, and is, a metaphor for Gatsby.

From the earliest forms of literature the concept of light has held huge significance in the world. Synonymous with the powerfulness of love and the idea of rebirth, it holds both hope and a sense of yearning. In famous novel, now turned motion picture, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we see this same overwhelming significance as Jay Gatsby stands on his dock with outstretched fingers towards a green light in the distance. Narrator, Nick Carraway, observes this, stating “Gastby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and then one fine morning - So we beat on, boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald, 171). This light mentioned throughout the novel, beaming green, the colour of hope, is positioned at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock and is one greatest metaphors for the ideals, Jay Gatsby, is reaching for and the past he left behind. Through the eyes of Nick, we see not only the torment this light and dream brings for Gatsby but the demise of human morale during the 1920’s, and the emptiness it left behind. (Neuffer,...


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...NE] Available at: http://thoughtsweighheavythoughts.com/2013/01/16/gatsby-and-the-extraordinary-gift-for-hope/. [Accessed 17 April 14].

Scott Neufer. 2013. Dark and Light Symbolism in Literature. [ONLINE] Available at
http://classroom.synonym.com/dark-light-symbolism-literature-2137.html
Alexander Atkins. 2012. Symbolism of Green Light. [ONLINE] Available at: https://atkinsbookshelf.wordpress.com/tag/symbolism-of-green-light-in-great-gatsby/ [Accessed 17 April 14].

© 2014 SparkNotes LLC, All Rights Reserved
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/themes.html [Accessed 17 April 14].

Ross, Jeremy. Nolan, Rachel ed. "The Great Gatsby Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of Chapter 2". GradeSaver, 08 September 2006 Web. [Accessed 24 April 2014.]

Not Applicable. 2014. Shmoop. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.shmoop.com/great-gatsby/jay-gatsby.html. [Accessed 18 April 14].

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Essay The Green Light in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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