Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Christian Gipson The Kinkaid School
Dr. J English III

Image: The Sun

“... read somewhere that the sun 's getting hotter every year... it seems that pretty soon the earth 's going to fall into the sun- or wait a minute–it 's just the opposite–the sun 's getting colder every year” (pg. 118).

Light as Deception
Believe it or not, the sun’s diameter is approximately 864, 575.9 miles making it 400 times larger than the moon. Nonetheless, the two celestial bodies both appear the same size from earth because the sun is 400 times farther away than the moon. Fitzgerald is genius in his use of the sun as a metaphor in The Great Gatsby set in the Gilded Age. Realist author Mark Twain figuratively referred to this age (in the late 19th century to early 20th century) as an age that appeared golden and extravagant on the surface but was dull and corrupt on the inside. The rivalry amongst mega corporations, where the wealth accumulated in the hands of the few, bashed the poor into heavy poverty in the Valley of Ashes, whereas the sumptuously stylish men and women of West and East Egg lived according to the doctrine of the American Dream, ceasing to see anything beyond the money and success of the Gilded Age. Fitzgerald’s basic exegesis of this platonic world (a metaphysical world in which perfect forms of people, places and things exist) is reflected through the eyes of James Gatz, who creates a million-dollar form of himself, Jay Gatsby, in hopes of winning
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