What Does The Boat Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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Similar to a boat going against the current, Gatsby is stuck in one spot, stuck in the past, being held back by an unavoidable force; he's unable to move forward no matter how hard he tries. Just like a boat: no matter how hard one rows, the boat will not move forward if its going against the current. In Chapter 9 of The Great Gatsby , F.Scott.Fitzgerald uses the imagery of boats and currents to represent the consequences of Gatsby's attempt to live in the past because the symbolism of a boat that can not move forward if it is fighting the current, represents that Gatsby is unable to let go of the past. In the end, Gatsby has been shot and killed. After a solemn, lonely funeral, Nick is wandering and ends up at Gatsby's dock, looking out on the restless sea. …show more content…

Gatsby was fighting the future, desperately holding on to the past, but if he had just let go and allowed himself to get pulled with the current and move on in the world like everyone else had, it would have saved him a lot of pain, but Gatsby's hopes were too big, his dreams to brilliant and he held on to tightly. One could argue that this is a human trait, a hopeless dream, that we refuse to let go of even if it's impossible. Perhaps we are all “boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” (Fitzgerald 180). Fighting the current is near impossible, just like Gatsby's

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