Social Issues / The Great Gatsby
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Autor: anton 19 September 2010
Words: 743 | Pages: 3
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel based on Gatsbyâ€™s dream and hope. In order to enrich the story, symbols are used to emphasize what the author is saying and they create a curiosity in the reader as they are frequently used throughout the story. These three symbols â€“ green light, valley of ashes and the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg are not connected to each other but each of them represents important things in the story.
The green light which is situated at the end of Daisyâ€™s dock symbolizes Gatsbyâ€™s hope to be together with Daisy. Nick noticed how Gatsby often stared at "a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dockâ€ (Fitzgerald 25).
Furthermore, during the meeting between both of them in Nickâ€™s house, Gatsby told her that â€œif it wasnâ€™t for the mist we could see your home across the bay. You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dockâ€ (Fitzgerald 90). It is clear
that he always observed Daisy from his house but all that he could see was the green light. He could only hope and dream about having Daisy by his side. This is before Gatsby finally met Daisy. When, at last, he met Daisy in Nickâ€™s house, it seems that â€œthe colossal significance of that light had now vanished foreverâ€ (Fitzgerald 90). He had Daisy next by his side therefore â€œhis count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.â€ (Fitzgerald 90). Not only does the green light represent Gatsbyâ€™s hope but it also symbolizes the American Dream. Nick deems that â€œGatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before usâ€ (Fitzgerald 171) which means the harder you chase it, the further away it goes. By looking at these facts, it is very obvious that the green light symbolizes Gatsbyâ€™s hope and the American Dream.
Lifeless and hopeless â€“ those two words very well describe The Valley of Ashes - a desolated area between West Egg and New York. Fitzgerald describes the Valley of Ashes as â€œa certain desolate area of landâ€ (Fitzgerald 26). Furthermore, the words â€˜ash-grey menâ€™, â€˜grey carsâ€™, â€˜invisible trackâ€™, â€˜grey landâ€™ and â€˜bleak dustâ€™ give you an idea about how hopeless and lifeless The Valley of Ashes is. In addition, George Wilson, â€œa blond, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsomeâ€ (Fitzgerald 27, 28) lives in The Valley of Ashes as well and â€œwhen he saw us a damp gleam of hope sprang into his light blue eyesâ€ (Fitzgerald 27, 28). This is as if the author is bombarding the readers with the hopelessness and lifelessness of The Valley of Ashes. On the whole, The Valley of Ashes symbolizes lifelessness and hopelessness.
Situated in The Valley of Ashes, there lies a huge and enormous advertisement board that seems to be watching everything. Once Nick said that â€œthe giant eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but (he) perceived after a moment, that other eyes were regarding (them) with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet awayâ€ (Fitzgerald 118) and it shows how the eyes are seems to be staring at people. Moreover, George Wilson presumes Doctor T. J. Eckleburgâ€™s eyes as â€œGod (who) knows what youâ€™ve been doing, everything youâ€™ve been doingâ€ (Fitzgerald 152) although Michaelis assures â€œthatâ€™s an advertisementâ€ (Fitzgerald 152). In conclusion, although it is just an enormous advertisement board, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, like God, seem to be watching everything.
As we can see from the above explanation, these three symbols â€“ the green light, The Valley of Ashes and the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg â€“ although they are not connected, they somehow, enrich the story. To symbolize Gatsbyâ€™s hope, the author uses the green light which is located at the end of Daisyâ€™s dock. Valley of Ashes, on the other hand, represents lifelessness and hopelessness, while the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg represent an advertisement board in The Valley of Ashes that seems to be watching everything. After all, Not only do they embellish the story but they also emphasize the important thing in the story which is Gatsbyâ€™s hope and dream to be together with Daisy.
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