Symbols In The Great Gatsby

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Symbolism plays a large role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic novel, The Great Gatsby. A major symbol in the novel is the characters’ connection to the idea of the American Dream. The entire life of Jay Gatsby, the title character, revolves around Daisy Buchanan, a former lover, who since meeting Gatsby, has married another man, Tom Buchanan. In the eyes of the reader, Daisy symbolizes the American Dream for Gatsby. He goes through extreme measures to try to reconnect with Daisy and achieve the American Dream. Once he is rich and famous, it would seem that Gatsby has achieved the American Dream. However, he is as far as possible from achieving what he believes to be his dream. Throughout The Great Gatsby, various characters express…show more content…
As Gatsby proclaims that, “He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: "I never loved you."(Fitzgerald 109) This was Gatsby’s true dream for Daisy to love him fully, to forget Tom, and for the two of them to go back in time and live their lives together. However, this never happens as Daisy just cannot leave Tom and her child. Just as Gatsby expects some change of heart from Daisy, he is killed. Nick tries as hard as he can for people to come to Gatsby 's funeral but nobody responds. At the funeral, only Nick, the minister, and Gatsby 's father attend. Surprisingly, the man with owl-eyed glasses comes at the very last moment. As Nick recalls, “As we started through the gate into the cemetery I heard a car stop…. It was the man with owl−eyed glasses.”(Fitzgerald 174). Gatsby had done so much for so many, but the lack of attendees at Gatsby 's funeral shows that not only did people use him for his money, but they acted as his friends only when he was alive. As soon as he died, they did not even have the decency to attend his funeral. Since all Americans are given the same dream, everybody thinks Gatsby had achieved his dream because of his overflowing wealth. Therefore, they acted as his friends because they were attracted to his money. But, ultimately, they were exposed as not being his friends and as bad people, who do not…show more content…
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s generation, the Lost Generation, were “lost” in the sense that they did not believe in all the things society was telling them and wanted to have and set their own thoughts and ideas. Fitzgerald displays this in his writing. Gatsby just wants to be with Daisy. However, society tells her that she cannot stand to be with a poor man. So, Jay, who was born poor, works extremely hard to become rich. Nonetheless, by the time he does indeed become rich, it is too late, as Daisy had already married the wealthy, Tom Buchanan. Society had told Gatsby and Daisy how important being rich was to the American Dream, as achieving riches meant happiness. When in reality, it is up to the individual to create and decide what his or her, American Dreams should be. For it is them who know what they truly desire. All Gatsby wanted to do was go back in time and have Daisy love him when he was poor, instead of her being told he must be rich before she can marry him. That is exactly why Nick is so non judgmental of Gatsby, because he was able to paint his own dream, but fell under the dream of society. However, he was able to see past it and see the real goal. Nick leaves chasing money and wealth and returns home. He tries going pack into the past, in an attempt to complete Gatsby 's dream of finding someone who truly loves him. As Nick puts it,
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