Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

838 Words4 Pages
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a novel that illustrates the ideologies of the ‘American Dream’: a fundamental of American identity since the inception of the country. The term was coined in 1931, and certainly ‘The Great Gatsby’, set during the Roaring Twenties, is a seminal exploration of this. F Scott Fitzgerald attempts to portray the two sides of the ‘American Dream’: its materialistic goals that gave individuals hope and the corrupt mindsets that shattered this hope and led to a decade of deceit. Therefore, these sides which Fitzgerald explores can be seen through the symbols used within the novel, such as the ‘green light’ that comes from Daisy’s dock, the divided setting of the novel between East Egg and West Egg, and through Gatsby himself. As Fitzgerald describes the light at the end of Daisy’s dock, he uses the colour ‘green’ as a symbol for ambition, finance and money. It is clear that by doing so, Fitzgerald alludes to the American Dream. However, it is the traditional symbolism of the colour ‘green’ - that of greed and jealousy - that Fitzgerald wishes to emphasise. Since the light belongs to Daisy’s dock, it is fair to say that Fitzgerald uses the ‘green light’ as a metaphor to represent Daisy. Her behaviour, even prior to the events which are introduced in the novel, is significant of her greed. For example, in spite of having a man, Gatsby, who ‘yearn[s]’ for her, Daisy’s choice to marry Tom - a more financially stable man - exposes her desire
Get Access