Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

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Gatsby Essay

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract
ideas or concepts. For example, a dove is usually used to represent peace. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald uses a lot of symbolism to connect the characters with each other or to other objects. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism helps advance his thematic interest in his novel of The Great Gatsby. 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.
One use of symbolism Fitzgerald uses is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He uses it to represent Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. In chapter one, Gatsby associates the light with Daisy when he reached toward it in the darkness, using it as his guide to lead him to his goal. The light also symbolizes the more generalized idea of the American dream since Gatsby’s quest for Daisy is associated with the American dream of love. Nick compares the green light to how America may have looked to the first people on the country. Another symbol representing Daisy are flowers. “At his lip’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”(117) Flowers are a symbol for grace, beauty, and love, and coincidentally is the name of the girl whom Gatsby loves. Another thing about the light and symbolism is its color, green. Green is representing money in this novel. It could represent money, or the struggle Gatsby has between his wealth and his dreams. Fitzgerald uses quite a few colors as symbolism other than green. He uses blue to represent the dreams and t...


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...ere and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns."(68)
The Great Gatsby is a novel full of symbolism. Fitzgerald uses symbolism to represent many different ideas, and to link the character together in some sort of way. He uses colors, cars, and houses to the valley of ashes and a doctor’s eyes. They all play a significant part in the novel, and not only portray symbols for the novel, but also in real life as well. For example, the color green is used to represent money in the novel, where as in life it does as well. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows us how society acted during the 1920’s. He provides us with views into worlds of love, money, power, and the morality of the time by using symbols with everyday objects and occurrences.

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