Symbolism In F. Scott Fitzgerald's Pursuit Of The American Dream

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Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism through colours and religious motifs brings out a critique of the pursuit of the American dream, in how such a pursuit of material wealth and status is ultimately consuming. Integral to this essay is our understanding of a relationship between Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy and Gatsby’s pursuit of status. While both pursuits may be viewed as Gatsby’s goals in life, each may also be understood as a means rather than the end. They seemingly share a circular relationship. Gatsby pursues wealth and status as a means to the end of winning Daisy’s heart. Gatsby pursues Daisy as a means to the end of enhancing his social status. Through the use of religious and color motifs, Fitzgerald expresses how Gatsby’s seemingly dedicated…show more content…
"And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock ... he did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity ... Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." Nick added a temporal dimension to the green light as a goal that is elusive and futile as Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy was an attempt to recreate the past into an illusory future. Everything that Gatsby was trying to pursue and the things he’s done along the way to win Daisy over, building his wealth through corrupted methods, throwing huge parties where he the host is a lonely observer, him being manipulated and killed; all these sacrifices had been futile. The green light, which was introduced to us as an admirable single-minded pursuit in how one man can be so dedicated in transcending his odds, has been transformed into a green light that represents bleakness and delusion. This single-minded vision, or delusion rather, has hollowed Gatsby out because of the misdeeds along the way, all for this illusory state of

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