Symbolism plays a large role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic novel, The Great Gatsby. A major symbol in the novel is the characters’ connection to the idea of the American Dream. The entire life of Jay Gatsby, the title character, revolves around Daisy Buchanan, a former lover, who since meeting Gatsby, has married another man, Tom Buchanan. In the eyes of the reader, Daisy symbolizes the American Dream for Gatsby. He goes through extreme measures to try to reconnect with Daisy and achieve the American Dream.
Jay Gatsby’s life was a clear representation of the American dream. Gatsby came from humble roots and rose to be notoriously wealthy, but was still missing the reason for his wealth. Gatsby was willing to give up his family and even change his name to chase the girl of his dreams. To Gatsby, the green light represented his dream which was Daisy. To obtain her would have completed Gatsby’s American dream.
Gatsby had the biggest house in the West Egg and had everything he could dream of and it still didn’t satisfy him. The only thing that could satisfy him was Daisy. He wanted a bigger house than Tom and he wanted fancier and more expensive furniture than Tom because he believed that Daisy would love him again if we did. He revolved his whole life around one girl and it ruined him. The bigger house and fancier furniture did not win him Daisy, it lost him his life.
So, it cannot be characterized as a happy, innocent tale. The author of The Great Gatsby wrote this novel influenced by his own life and his relationship with his wife Zelda. The unifying elements of this novel are the character of Gatsby and the New York where the episodes occur. Fitzgerald first began working on The Great Gatsby on 1922. He reported to his editor Maxwell Perkins: “ want to write something new, something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned” (Perkins, 2004).
Despite his big, fresh reputation in West Egg, he has unfulfilled desires, an inability to progress, and constant dissatisfaction with his position in life. To Jay Gatsby, being successful means being happy and obtaining what he desires most: Daisy. Jay Gatsby fell in love with Daisy Buchanan five years prior to striking it rich. From the moment they met, he knew exactly what he wanted: Daisy. In his eyes, Daisy was a greater being, a goddess - someone who would make him happy.
Identity The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald presents the idea that our identity is shaped by our relationships in various ways. The way which the identities of the characters in the book change from one to another can be seen throughout the book in three different relationships. These three relationships are between Gatsby and Daisy, Tom and Myrtle, and Gatsby and Nick. Gatsby went through with the American dream to gain status and money to be worthy of Daisy whom he loves. Tom’s mistress, Myrtle, who is from the valley of ashes, changes her identity by the way she speaks and acts when she was around Tom and her husband, George.
Gatsby believed that by alluring Daisy with money and his apparently luxurious and rich lifestyle she adored, he could have caused her to leave her husband and be with him. In the beginning, Gatsby did everything in his power to become the man Daisy would want to be with, from risking his reputation and obtaining his wealth in questionable ways, to buying a grand mansion across from her own and throwing parties in simple hopes of her attendance, Gatsby was willing to do whatever it took to acquire his illusion of happiness. However, Gatsby’s desire to have what, he assumed, would make him happy intensifies once he rekindled his affair with Daisy as he was even more determined to prove she never loved and her husband and would leave him for Gatsby without hesitation. This great aspiration became the sole focus of Gatsby’s life and caused him to do outrages
Fitzgerald uses color to add mod and symbolize different things throughout the novel. The novel uses many different colors to provide imagery for the readers to understand and to live as if they are truly in the novel. The color blue represents Gatsby’s illusions his deeply romantic dreams of unreality. He’ had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.” The blue lawn is the water separating Gatsby’s dock and Daisy’s which makes you understand he has been waiting for his chance with Daisy. The blue lawn is an illusion for Gatsby to keep believing in his dream that he knows will never happen.
To Gatsby, Daisy is the epitome of everything he’s wished for himself - wealthy, socialite. When he first stumbles upon Daisy’s life, Gatsby was in awe of her life; Nick writes, “He had never seen such a beautiful house before...there was a ripe mystery about it…” (Fitzgerald 148), due to his poor upbringing. Gatsby even tells Nick, “Her voice is full of money…” (Fitzgerald 120) when describing Daisy - his first description of her is to bring up her wealth, the thing that captivated a poor, young Gatsby. Finally, Nick writes down that “He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously - eventually he took Daisy…” (Fitzgerald 149). Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship also was artificially based - Gatsby was blinded by Daisy’s wealth and the mystery about her social class that he fell in love
Daisy’s attention was always materialistic; marrying a socially reputable wealthy man was her key to happiness or perhaps good marriage. The quote “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” (p.198). Further supported that Daisy was a gold digger. To Daisy, social status was a big deal. Daisy maintained a very reputable image in front of the society; she did not drink but remains a social butterfly.