Symbolism in The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

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Symbolism in The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a classic American novel, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1927 about corruption, murder and life in the 1920’s. The true purpose for a writer to compose any piece of literature is to entertain the reader, and this writer does this to the best of his ability. In this well-crafted tale, Fitzgerald presents a fast moving, exciting story, and to any typical reader it can be enjoyed; however, if the reader takes the time to analyze his words and truly understand his symbolism used, it can transform this account into a completely different entity. In The Great Gatsby, it is apparent that Fitzgerald uses these symbols to provide representations of what life was like during that time, and to help advance the thematic interests in his novel. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, symbolism is defined as “The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships,” and the author uses all varieties of symbol’s in the text to coax the reader into the true lives and personalities of the characters. Symbolism often allows the reader to better understand the theme and mood that the author is trying to portray. Fitzgerald uses this to show details that cannot be revealed by words alone. Through symbolism, he allows the reader to refer to other, more tangible aspects of life. Throughout this novel, the types of symbolism vary from object to object, but some of the most notable examples of symbolism include the color green, the overall setting, and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The use of symbolism throughout this novel not only helps to give the reader insight into the true identities of the characters, but also further accentuates the themes portrayed throughout the novel.

One of the more obvious examples of symbolism in this novel is the color green. This is evident from the beginning of the novel, when there is a small, flickering green light across the Manhasset Bay, separating the Manhasset Neck, also known as the East Egg, from the Great Neck, also known as the West Egg. One assumption can be made that the green hue of the light represents the envy that Gatsby has of Tom for being married to Daisy. Gatsby wishes that he was still with Daisy, and this light represents his hopes for...


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...ovel, The Great Gatsby. By using specific examples of symbolism, he is enabled to give insight into the characters involved in the events which take place in the story, as well as the events that were taking place during that time period. Fitzgerald made references in this novel that will cause people in years to come to remember the 1920’s for what they truly were, and regardless of if this was his purpose in writing the tale, he will be remembered for this. The novel is awash with symbolism which enhance the themes portrayed in the novel, but a few specific symbols are the color green, the entire setting of the story, and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. All of these symbols help the reader to draw conclusions about the time period, as well as further understand the personalities and attitudes of the characters. By causing the characters to have multi-faceted characteristics and dispositions, Fitzgerald causes the reader to feel like they are involved in the book, which leads the reader to become involved in the novel and actually feel like he is one of the characters. Symbolism enhances any piece of literature, but this piece in particular utilized symbolism to flawlessness.

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