Eye Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Symbolism is defined by Merriam Webster as “the use of symbols to express or represent ideas or qualities.” There is use of eyes symbolizing all-seeing eyes are prevalent in The Great Gatsby. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg symbolize the eyes of God, the eyes of who Nick calls “Owl Eyes” symbolize wisdom and keen sight. In the 1920’s, New York was under prohibition of alcohol and was full of gangsters and bootleggers. The color green in the book symbolizes Gatsby’s “hopes and dreams”. The Valley of Ashes is a run-down, forgotten land that symbolizes a place for people who are caught between the new era and the old culture. The “new era” of New York in the 1920’s was jazz music, increased popularity in black culture, new fashion senses, women drinking and smoking, and prohibition of most alcohol. Some of these new ideas made people uneasy…show more content…
Although Gatsby was culturally in tune with the changing times he was still considered “new money” because he was not born into his wealth and made it all himself. Also he lived on the West Egg, which is where everyone with “new money” went to live. Gatsby received all of his wealth by taking advantage of prohibition and bootlegging, but he was responsible with his newly earned money and carried himself similar to someone with “old money” would. The woman he loves, Daisy, lives across the sound from Gatsby on the East Egg. On the end of her dock there is a green light. This green light is probably the most evident symbols in the book. The green light symbolizes Gatsby’s hope that one day they will be together again. "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 92). In this quote Gatsby tells Daisy about how every night he looks over at her house across the bay at
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