Symbols in The Great Gatsby

Symbols in The Great Gatsby

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Symbols in The Great Gatsby


In the Great Gatsby, a lot of things can be looked at as symbols. The weather, Daisy’s dresses, the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, and even the lights. By using symbols, Fitzgerald makes the story more deep, and enjoyable for some readers. Fitzgerald also uses various themes throughout his story of the Great Gatsby, like Gatsby’s “American dream.”

The two most important symbols in the story are the green lights at the end of daisy’s dock, and the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. The green lights represent Gatsby’s “American dream” and his yearning for daisy. The reader doesn’t understand this for a while though. Fitzgerald shows us later that this is what they stand for, to show how something simple can represent so much. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is simply a sign that lingers over the valley of ashes. The reader can interpret it as anything he/she wishes. Toward the end of the novel, however, George Wilson interprets the eyes as the eyes of God, and he must act properly under them.

Gatsby’s American dream is the theme throughout the story. He lives a life of luxury, throwing huge parties, and living in a mansion. Gatsby wanted this life since he was a kid. He also wants the girl of his dreams, Daisy, in his life, only he can’t have her because she is in love with Tom. Gatsby makes Daisy a symbol of everything he wants because of her beauty, wealth, and worry-less attitude.

There are also small symbols and themes in the story as well. The color of daisy’s white dress, for example, sets the mood for the scene. And on the hottest day of the year is when Tom and Gatsby have their confrontation.

Overall, the symbols and themes in this story seem to come together because of Gatsby’s dream for Daisy, which is the symbol of the green lights, who is everything Gatsby wants.

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Even though the lights are just lights, and the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg is just a big sign, the people of the Great Gatsby take meaning to them because they feel the need to dream something, or need them to blame something on.
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