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What Does The Green Light Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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In order to better a reader's understanding of a piece of writing, symbolism is used. By using symbols to explain ideas or concepts, an author can use ambiguous objects to enhance his or her work. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author continually uses symbols to do exactly that. Fitzgerald uses three very specific symbols that add to the meaning and plot of the piece. These symbols allow Fitzgerald to represent the plight of the poor, a God like figure overlooking the United States, and not only Gatsby’s unattainable dreams, but the American dream. Fitzgerald deftly uses the Valley of Ashes, the billboard, and the green light in order to represent these ideas and enhance the quality of the novel. In The Great Gatsby, the Valley of …show more content…

Gatsby lives in West Egg, while his former lover Daisy resides in East Egg. Gatsby can see a dim green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. However, the green light is much more than just a light. At the very end of the novel, Nick says, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter...So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past(Fitzgerald 189). By stating this, it is clear that Gatsby saw the green light as his dream of a future with Daisy. Although the light may seem in reach, Gatsby is never able to achieve this goal. Not only does the light represent Gatsby’s unsuccessful dream, but it also represents the unrealistic American dream. Nick says the word “us” as in the citizens of the United States. He then proceeds to say that the light “eludes us” and that like boats fighting against the current, “we” push on endlessly to go nowhere. The green light allows Fitzgerald to show that attempting to attain the material based American dream is nearly impossible and allows the author to add symbolic meaning to the novel and its

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