What Does Money Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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During the 1920s, women defied tradition and became flappers. Ceasing being housewives, these flappers began flaunting their independence by attending speakeasies, therefore, illustrating their newly attained risqué attitudes. Along with this deviation in conduct, they became symbols of the unorthodox time period. Symbols represent many themes and messages. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald effectively uses symbolism to support the novel's theme stating money cannot buy happiness. Readers detect Fitzgerald's most prominent use of symbolism when analyzing the advertisement of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel, deliberately makes the presence of the billboard known, thereby revealing the eyes hold a deeper meaning.…show more content…
Each is able to see through the false images created by society. Since the oculist's sign acts as the eyes of God, they emphasize instances where wealthy individuals remain unhappy. Tom clearly proves this message. Even though Tom has inherited an enormous amount of wealth, he feels incomplete. In order to fill this void, Tom entices multiple women with his money. Fitzgerald's other example of symbolism, the owl eyed man, specifically targets Gatsby's unfulfilled life. Gatsby devotes everything he has, including money, to reconnecting with Daisy, the woman of his dreams. In hopes of reuniting their previous love, Gatsby throws elaborate parties at his home across the bay. However, even though he momentarily recaptures their love and has numerous guests at his events, Gatsby remains unhappy and alone in the end. Doctor T. J. Eckleburg's billboard and the owl eyed man support the underlying message in Fitzgerald's novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the literary element of symbolism in The Great Gatsby to prove wealth does not ensure happiness. Creating both the billboard and the man found in Gatsby's library, Fitzgerald indicates the wealthy are not always as society makes them out to be. Society claims money buys happiness, yet the symbols look into the lives of wealthy characters from the novel and show their sorrow and loneliness. The Great Gatsby demonstrates how people
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