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How Does Jay Fitzgerald Present Greed In The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby Greed can ruin a person’s life. F. Scott Fitzgerald shows this in his classic novel, The Great Gatsby, a sad love story about the rich title character, Jay Gatsby, and his obsession to win back the love of the now married Daisy Buchanan, his former girlfriend. The extravagant lifestyles of Gatsby and the wealthy socialites who attend his parties lead to lost dreams and wasted lives. These men and women are absorbed by material pursuits. In Jay Gatsby’s case, all the money in the world could not replace what he truly desires, Daisy. Fitzgerald uses myriad symbols such as a valley of ashes, a billboard, and a green light across the bay from Gatsby’s mansion, to convey his themes and influence the plot. A valley of ashes is used to convey the theme of the inequality of wealth that was so widespread in the 1920s. Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, and Nick Carroway go on a drive to visit Tom’s mistress. Myrtle lives in an apartment above her husband’s workshop, in the coal and ash covered mining town on the outskirts of New York City. Fitzgerald, in narrator Nick…show more content…
He is greedy because he uses his wealth to try to win over Daisy. Gatsby buys a house across the bay from Daisy, and he can always see the green light shining toward him at the end of her dock, as Fitzgerald writes: “…he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away…”(Fitzgerald 19). The symbol of Gatsby reaching toward the light represents his longing for Daisy, but just like the light, she is far away. Gatsby has worked so hard to try to win her back. She is within reach, however, the passage of time is keeping him from her, symbolized by the bay lapping towards him. The more time he spends trying to reach her the more time he is
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