The Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay

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With the beginning of the 20th century, great changes arrived in all spheres of human activity due to the growing needs of the society. Like everything else, literature had to offer new literary frames that will meet the requirements of the readership. One of the pioneers that had the courage to try something different, unique and unusual was the American novelist Francis Scott Fitzgerald who became a cultural icon because of his success to embody the era he lived in inside of his works. Through the analysis of some key symbols in ‘The Great Gatsby’ we will see how for example colors do not always have positive connotations or how some elements, minor and irrelevant to the one group of characters, have great importance to the other. The symbolism…show more content…
The second color mentioned is yellow, as Yaffe describes it, the color of depravity (1). This symbolic color is seen only in the Valley of Ashes, more specifically, the glasses on the billboard of T.J. Eckleburg and George Wilson’s yellow brick home. Statement that yellow is the color of death is supported by Myrtle Wilson’s death. “Myrtle Wilson was killed by Gatsby's yellow Rolls Royce in front of her yellow brick house under the yellow glasses of T.J. Eckleburg.” (Yaffe 2) After these colors symbolizing negativity comes the “vibrant and mysterious color of green, seen mostly in the beginning and end of the novel” (Yaffe 2). This color is connected only with the character of Jay Gatsby who, as Nick described, “stretched out his arms towards 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 distinguishing nothing except a single green light, minute and faraway, that might have been the end of a dock” (Fitzgerald 20). The green light, the contemporary signal which peremptorily summons the traveler on his way, serves well as the symbol for man in hurried pursuit of a beckoning
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