Free Essays - The Mirage in The Great Gatsby

Free Essays - The Mirage in The Great Gatsby

Length: 906 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Mirage in The Great Gatsby




The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a book of love and tragedy that all leads back to dreams and ideas, but never reality. Gatsby is a man of great wealth and is truly rich. Or is he? The Great Gatsby has many disguises that play a major role in several characters' lives, but mostly Gatsby's'. Gatsby believes that he will be very successful and get what he wants, including Daisy, if he is rich. He succeeded in getting money and living a life of luxury, but is never truly rich. He is always so set on the future and what things could be if this, or if that happens, that he never lives in the present. Because Gatsby never lives in the present, he ends up doing that permanently, and by the end of the book, he lives no more. When Gatsby was alive, he seemed never to be happy, because he was never satisfied with himself; Gatsby tried to change himself. He always tried to reach for his vision, which is represented by the green light, but never seemed to achieve it because he didn't ever live in the life he had; Gatsby lived in the life he wanted. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses green light to represent the unreachable dream in the future that is always being sought after and wanted by Gatsby, but never obtained.


In The Great Gatsby, the green light is visible to many and always distant. To some, like Tom, it is just a light, but to others, like Gatsby, it is their hopeful future. As Tom said in chapter one, "I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of the dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness"(Gatsby 26). He saw a green light. That is all, just a light that may have been at the end of the dock. When Gatsby vanished, this represented him approaching and trying to attain the green light, which was his future he sought after and believed in. As Marius Bewley agrees, the green light represents his faith, "An image of that green light, symbol of Gatsby's faith, burns across the bay,"(Bewley 24).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - The Mirage in The Great Gatsby." 19 Mar 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

gatjay F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Jay Gatsby as the Magician

- Jay Gatsby as the Magician in The Great Gatsby Magicians are known for the tricks that they play on the eyes. What often seems like magic, turns out to be just a careful flick of the wrist. In the book The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzerald, the magician is compared to the character of Jay Gatsby. The magician motif is used among other tools to prove that appearance is not always reality. The higher class throws sophisticated and glamorous parties that include many interesting people. They have fun and show off their fortunes with the grand affairs....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Free Essays - The Great Gatsby

- “…And the Home of the Greedy” As Matthew J. Bruccoli noted: “An essential aspect of the American-ness and the historicity of The Great Gatsby is that it is about money. The Land of Opportunity promised the chance for financial success.” (p. xi) The Great Gatsby is indeed about money, but it also explores its aftermath of greed. Fitzgerald detailed the corruption, deceit and illegality of life that soon pursued “the dream”. However, Fitzgerald entitles the reader to the freedom to decide whether or not the dream was ever free of corruption....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
600 words (1.7 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: The Truly Great Gatsby

- The Truly Great Gatsby Is his novel the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates Gatsby as a character who becomes great. He begins life as just an ordinary, lower-class, citizen. But Gatsby has a dream of becoming wealthy. After meeting Daisy, he has a reason to strive to become prominent. Throughout his life, Gatsby gains the title of truly being great. Even before Gatsby is introduced, he is hinted at being out of the ordinary. The first evidence of this is when Nick says, "Gatsby turned out all right at the end." (2) Nothing was known about Gatsby at the time and Nick is already saying Gatsby was okay....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: A Very Insecure Gatsby

- The Very Insecure Great Gatsby   In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby many characters are not as they seem.  The one character that intrigues me the most is James Gatsby.  In the story Gatsby is always thought of as rich, confident, and very popular.  However, when I paint a picture of him in my mind I see someone very different.  In fact, I see the opposite of what everyone portrays him to be.  I see someone who has very little confidence and who tries to fit in the best he can.  There are several scenes in which this observation is very obvious to me.  It is clear that Gatsby is not the man that everyone claims he is....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
423 words (1.2 pages)

Free Essays - Notes on The Great Gatsby

- Notes on The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Characters Introduced: * Nick Carraway - A wealthy mid-westerner in his mid-twenties who fought in world war one, currently working in New York city and living next door to Mr.Gastby. * Daisy - Nick's second cousin is very cynical and bored with the rich life, married to Tom Buchanan. * Tom Buchanan - Nick's friend from Yale, very wealthy and successful, and very pretentious. * Jordan Baker - A golfer who spends time with the Buchanan's, also very snooty....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
2204 words (6.3 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: Deception

- There are many American novels that yield insights into human nature, but few are as honest or intriguing as Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby is brilliantly composed, and involves many different personalities, but it is at the core of this novel that we find the dark secret of humanity: deception. All of the inhabitants of East and West Egg use one another to get what they want, with little care as to how it will affect the people around them. Through the eyes of Nick Carraway, we see how the wealthy live: they live in a luxurious society surrounded by their own lies and deception....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: Genre

- The Genre of The Great Gatsby If you want to find out, into which literary corner F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, the "Great Gatsby", belongs, you’ve got to take a look at two main genres of novel-writing, the so-called "novel of manners" on the one hand and the romance on the other. The novel of manners gives, using most of the time a rather satirical tone, a sharp portrayal of the actual life as it really is and also of the social behaviour and attitudes that are closely related with it....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
525 words (1.5 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: Reflection of an Era

- The Great Gatsby - Reflection of an Era During the 1920's America was a country of great ambition, despair and disappointment. The novel The Great Gatsby is a reflection of this decade, it illustrates the burning passion one man has toward his "American Dream" and the different aspects of the dream. Fitzgerald's work is a reflection of America during his lifetime. The Great Gatsby shows the ambition of one man's reach for his "American Dream," the disappointment of losing this dream and the despair of his loss....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

Free Essays - Doctor Eckleburg of The Great Gatsby

- Doctor Eckleburg of The Great Gatsby Reading through the novel The Great Gatsby, it becomes evident that Dr. Eckelberg symbolizes God and oversees events that occur. The characters in the novel refer to "the eyes of Dr. Eckelberg" often. Doctor T.J. Eckleburg symbolizes three things. He symbolizes the corruption of society; his eyes represent the eyes of an omnipotent God, and he implies carelessness and mistreatment. "The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic-their retinas are one yard high....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
498 words (1.4 pages)

Free Great Gatsby Essays: Religious Influences

- Religious Influences in The Great Gatsby During the 1920s, sometimes referred to as the Progressive Era, political and social changes surfaced in society in efforts to progressively improve the nation. However, the 1920’s can accurately be described as the decade of selfishness. Society was material oriented and, as a result, there was a decrease in religious practices. This is vividly displayed in The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald's use of mortal characters as religious influences. There are three significant occurrences in the novel which show the loss of spirituality of the time, beginning with Gatsby's watch over Daisy the night of the hit and run....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
388 words (1.1 pages)

Related Searches

Since the green light represents Gatsby's faith, it is hard for him not believe in it and reach for it. In a way, the green light represent assurance, and he relies on it; it is his faith.


To Gatsby, his idealistic future, his green light, is associated with Daisy and so she is his dream that will never be reached. It is later in the book, in chapter five, when the green light starts to relate to Daisy, because Daisy becomes part of Gatsby's desired future, "If it wasn't for the mist I could see your home across the bay. You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock,"(Gatsby 98). Eventually, Gatsby wants to arrive at that green light, grasp it, and develop his life into it, with Daisy. As Marius Bewley says, "For Gatsby, Daisy does not exist in herself. She is the green light that signals him into the heart of his ultimate vision,"(Bewley 19). In view of the fact that the green light is Gatsby's wanted future, if he associates Daisy with the green light, then obviously he want her to be in his ideal life later on.


Gatsby never fulfilled his life by arriving at the green light, his unreachable dream, because he was too involved in his future to worry about his current situation. The further and further Gatsby reached, the further the green light seemed. His romantic and impractical future that he sought after became less and less likely to occur one day, "Gatsby 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 further...and one fine morning-So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past"(Gatsby 189).


Gatsby just couldn't grasp the idea that Daisy would not end up with him no matter how he envisioned it or how much money he had, by now you know he is not truly rich.


From the day Gatsby started planning his schedule as a boy, because he had a "big future" in front of him, until the day that he died, he always had confidence of getting what he wanted. He never did get what he wanted, his green light, but he believed in it and never stopped reaching for it, "The green light is successful because, apart from its visual effectiveness as it gleams across the bay, it embodies the profound naiveté of Gatsby's sense of the future, while simultaneously suggesting the historicity of his hope,"(Bewley 21). Gatsby was guilty of dreaming and believing there could be a life better then he had at that time, so he didn't really live through that life, in the present, he had hope, that is it. He always consistently reached for the green light, and each time he would reach, he would be pulled further and further from reality, until he was finally out of reality, and had his life taken away from him.


Return to