What Does The Green Light Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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Great Gatsby Symbols F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby inaugurates the glitz and glamor of the jazz age in the 1920s within the American Dream. In The Great Gatsby, we follow the narrator, Nick as he gets exposed to the secret lives of the “glamorous” and the reality of the American Dream. Looking into the lives of the characters that F. Scott Fitzgerald introduces, we find several symbolic references to the American Dream throughout the entirety of the novel. Some of which these symbols include are the color white, the green light and the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg.

The first symbol is the color white which we see throughout the novel. The color white represents Daisy and all things unattainable to Gatsby. For illustration, …show more content…

The green light is a light right off of Daisy’s dock, right across the bay from Gatsby. We see the green light on several occasions throughout The Great Gatsby. The green light represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future, resting on the other side of the bay and also is a reference to the American Dream. Gatsby yearns for Daisy who is just out of his grasp and impossible to attain just like the American Dream tends to be. Gatsby is seen staring at the green light several times throughout the novel and we can see that by the quote “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay, you always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” (48). This quote shows just how much he wants Daisy and his single-minded goal of obtaining her which is the same for the American Dream in a sense, we all yearn for the perfect way of life just for it to be just out of …show more content…

T.J. Eckleburg also has a symbolic importance in the novel. The “Eyes” of T.J Eckleburg is an old billboard in the Valley of Ashes belonging to an Optician hoping to fatten his practice. Characterized as all-seeing, the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg represent the reality of the American Dream and God staring down at society as a moral wasteland, without actually seeing anything. This is shown by the quotes “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing, you may fool me but you can’t fool God!” (84) and “God sees everything.” (85). Wilson is shown here to be referencing the billboard to God, “watching” the judging American society and the wasteland it has become. This is ironic due to the fact that the billboard isn’t actually god and doesn’t see anything. F. Scott Fitzgerald is trying to say that God doesn’t exist, he isn’t looking over us, we are slowly turning into a moral wasteland, The Valley of Ashes symbolizing death and despair, we can infer that the deeper meaning behind the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg and the valley of ashes is the American Dream is lost and

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