What Does The Water Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

850 Words4 Pages

The Great Gatsby, a novel written by Scott Fitzgerald, is told from the perspective of Nick Carraway following wealthy man named Jay Gatsby chase for his Daisy, married women. Gatsby’s believes his efforts in building his ideal wealthy lifestyle will repeat the past with Daisy, leads to his downfall. Fitzgerald’s foreshadows Gatsby’s love with a repetition of symbolic imagery to characterize him as a hopeless lover, revisiting ideas at the beginning and end. At the end of the novel, Fitzgerald describes a Dutch sailor’s eyes to that of Gatsby to symbolize the wonder of reaching for something desired. When Nick first sees Gatsby, Nick notices that Gatsby is standing at the end of the dock in front of his mansion: “He [Gatsby] stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I [Nick] was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light.” …show more content…

As Gatsby reaches out for the green light, Gatsby is reaching for Daisy, who he deeply wishes to be with. Fitzgerald also creates imagery similar to this scene with “the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes-a fresh, green breast of the new world.” As the Dutch sailors have made long and hard voyages in search of new lands, the first sight of green land excites them. The sailors then reach out for the land and deeply desire to get to the land, just as Gatsby reaches out for the unreachable green light. They are both close, but still too far away. Eventually, Gatsby gets closer and closer to Daisy and they start communicating, yet she is still far out of Gatsby’s reach: “He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.” Gatsby believes that Daisy will eventually leave Tom for him, and through his journey to obtain Daisy, Gatsby transforms himself from a poor

Open Document