The American dream states that any individual can achieve success regardless of family history, race, and/or religion simply by working hard. The 1920’s were a time of corruption and demise of moral values in society. The first World War had passed, and people were reveling in the materialism that came at the end of it, such as advanced technology and innovative inventions. The novel The Great Gatsby exploits the theme of the American Dream as it takes place in a corrupt period in history. Although the American Dream seemed more attainable than ever in the 1920’s, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby demonstrates how materialism and the demise of moral values in society leads to the corruption and impossibility of the American Dream. This is accomplished through the use of symbols such as the Valley of Ashes, The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, and The Green Light. These 3 symbols play a huge roll in the novel for each of them are massively important in their own ways.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the icon of beautiful lyricism, uses many intriguing patterns within his novel, The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald, in his writing of the 1920s, introduces the reader to the world after the Great War; a world of overindulged wealth, unrealistic dreams, and undeniable poverty. Where there is wealth it is not used in an honorable way; where dreams may form, they are impossible to accomplish due to their exorbitant standards; and where dust accumulates, there poverty gathers as well. Throughout his novel, Fitzgerald uses the pattern of dust and ashes to display his essential themes of immorality, poverty, and death.
Jesse Zapata 3/7/16 Ms. Pruitt Seminar Questions: The Great Gatsby 1. Fitzgerald uses setting to emphasize various aspects of his social classes in the novel. The Valley of Ashes is a dark place, and it is home to the poor, unfortunate lower class then was exploited during the 1920s. West Egg is tacky and looming, representing how many of the young millionaires (The "New Money") in the novel have found themselves suddenly rich and upper class without preparation. East Egg is just the opposite.
Father Wasteland The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald contains a vast amount of profound symbolism. From all the distinct colors to the Valley of Ashes. There is the green light, which Gatsby can only come close to grasping. Then there’s the hellish Valley of Ashes where hopes and dreams go to stare into the face of death, and slowly dissipate over time, until there’s nothing left except a lust for more out of life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby to represent the roaring twenties lifestyle and the ever changing American Dream during the 1920s. Symbolism plays a drastic role in bringing the essay into a more perspective view for readers by growing characters, creating suspension and motivating the reader to continue reading. The Great Gatsby contains large amounts of symbolism, making it one of America's most loved novels. Fitzgerald uses different concepts of symbolism by integrating weather, location, colors and signs into the book by playing out relatable situations, for example the tension during hot weather. The valley of ashes played a very significant role in the book The Great Gatsby by creating a definition of the classes.
The Roaring Twenties, a time known for prosperity and wealth, was also the precursor for the Great Depression. In the American classic, The Great Gatsby, the author nearly foreshadows the fall of the wealthy class. By showing the corruption of the higher socioeconomic class, and the problems with the poverty of the age, the novel shows an atypical view on the nineteen twenties. While F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, focuses on the life of the prosperous on the outskirts of New York City, “the valley of ashes,” serves to show the contrast of a significantly different lifestyle. Through his use of symbolism, Fitzgerald adds a sense of carelessness and selfishness to the wealthy characters of the novel to illustrate his hostile view
The symbols in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald is a highly symbolic book on 1920s America, in particular the fall down of the American dream in a period of materialism and idealism. And also, which was known as the Roaring Twenties. The book basically talks about a tragic story between Gatsby, a “New Money” gentleman and Daisy, a noble girl from “Old Money”. And also, the author tries to transform some ideas to the readers by using some symbolic examples, such as, the green light, Doctor T.J.Eckleburg’s eyes and Gatsby himself.
It also serves to portray the materialistic society that surrounds them (The Colors of Society - Camouflaged Discontent).” The characters portray such class and wealth along with fake happiness. The Valley of Ashes looks at how they feel on the inside which Daisy and Gatsby both ooze with discontent with how they’ve made decisions and how their lives did not turn out how they dreamed. Next, at one of Gatsby’s many house parties Nick makes a list of “grey names, and they will give you a better impression than [Nick’s] generalities (Fitzgerald 61).”
There is a billboard that overlooks the Valley of Ashes, which is a very dark and dreary place in the novel. “They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose,” (Fitzgerald 27). The glasses are yellow because they are looking over the wasteland of America and it is not good enough for gold. The color yellow may represent a lesser version of gold like when Fitzgerald mentions “two girls in twin yellow dresses who stopped at the foot of the steps,” (Fitzgerald 47). Gatsby sees these two girls as being too easy and they are not as good as Daisy or Jordan because they do not have the pizzazz.
Fitzgerald uses personification and imagery to convey that the Valley of Ashes is a polluted area filled with ashes and dusts. It is also where many of the less fortunate, lower-class citizens live and work in the society. A literary device Fitzgerald uses is personification as he describes the motion of the cars driving through the place. He mentions, “Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest…” (Fitzgerald, 23).
Fitzgerald explains this through the introduction of the valley of ashes, a poverty stricken area of “gray land” that includes “ the eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg” (Doc. F). The people in this area such as Myrtle weren't rich but wanted to be and used loud colors or patterns to seem as something they weren't. Likewise, the mention of the sign represents that “God” was watching all the Caucasus going on (Doc. F).Despite this fact, the 1920s was a prosperous age in which many Americans came to enjoy the blessings of consumerism and excess.
Appearing multiple times in the novel, the “valley of ashes” represents the acrimony and poverty of New York in the 1920’s. Carraway describes this barren wasteland with words such as “grotesque” and “fantastic” (PAGE). By using the word grotesque, Fitzgerald portrays an ugly and distorted image of the contrasting world of lavish West Egg, and his tone is most prominently seen through this example. Shying from the masterful subtlety with which Fitzgerald employs his negative diction throughout the novel, “the valley of ashes” is given a simple yet effective description that harshly shows what Fitzgerald intends for the reader to understand. It is in Fitzgerald’s description of the “valley of ashes” that many differing opinions arise on Fitzgerald’s intentions.
The green light was symbolic of Daisy, Gatsby was reaching out towards her dock as if he could touch her. Another example of symbolism is, “looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night. ‘God sees everything,’ repeated Wilson” (Fitzgerald 159-160). The billboard of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg is symbolic of God because the eyes saw everything that happened throughout the novel in the Valley of Ashes, such as the car accident which killed Myrtle. These examples of figurative language brought the novel to life and by using such powerful lines, it helped make The Great Gatsby “The Great American
Fitzgerald uses myriad symbols such as a valley of ashes, a billboard, and a green light across the bay from Gatsby’s mansion, to convey his themes and influence the plot. A valley of ashes is used to convey the theme of the inequality of wealth that was so widespread in the 1920s. Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, and Nick Carroway go on a drive to visit Tom’s mistress. Myrtle lives in an apartment above her husband’s workshop, in the coal and ash covered mining town on the outskirts of New York City. Fitzgerald, in narrator Nick