Social Issues / The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

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Autor:  anton  19 September 2010
Tags:  Gatsby
Words: 743   |   Pages: 3
Views: 476

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel based on Gatsby’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 – 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 Daisy’s dock symbolizes Gatsby’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 dock” (Fitzgerald 25).

Furthermore, during the meeting between both of them in Nick’s house, Gatsby told her that “if it wasn’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 dock” (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 Nick’s house, it seems that “the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever” (Fitzgerald 90). He had Daisy next by his side therefore “his count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.” (Fitzgerald 90). Not only does the green light represent Gatsby’s hope but it also symbolizes the American Dream. Nick deems that “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” (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 Gatsby’s hope and the American Dream.

Lifeless and hopeless – 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 “a certain desolate area of land” (Fitzgerald 26). Furthermore, the words ‘ash-grey men’, ‘grey cars’, ‘invisible track’, ‘grey land’ and ‘bleak dust’ give you an idea about how hopeless and lifeless The Valley of Ashes is. In addition, George Wilson, “a blond, spiritless man, anemic, and faintly handsome” (Fitzgerald 27, 28) lives in The Valley of Ashes as well and “when he saw us a damp gleam of hope sprang into his light blue eyes” (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 “the 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 away” (Fitzgerald 118) and it shows how the eyes are seems to be staring at people. Moreover, George Wilson presumes Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes as “God (who) knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing” (Fitzgerald 152) although Michaelis assures “that’s an advertisement” (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 – the green light, The Valley of Ashes and the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg – although they are not connected, they somehow, enrich the story. To symbolize Gatsby’s hope, the author uses the green light which is located at the end of Daisy’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 Gatsby’s hope and dream to be together with Daisy.



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