Jacob Rhee Mr. Compton English 10 30 January 2017 Symbolism in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald serves many purposes. It entertains the reader, teaches life lessons, and even gives readers an insight as to what life was like in the 1920s. But perhaps the most important and prevalent theme in the book is the downfall of the American Dream. The American Dream is the belief that through hard work, any individual can obtain success in America. The author scatters symbols throughout the book to portray how this “Dream” simmered away into nonexistence. Fitzgerald uses symbolism throughout The Great Gatsby to represent the death of the American Dream. One symbol that Fitzgerald utilizes is the setting. In the book, there are …show more content…
The second setting is West Egg. The people in West Egg worked for everything they have, and have obtained wealth solely based on their determination. In other words, inhabitants of West Egg have achieved the American Dream - they started from nothing and rose to the top through hard work. However, Fitzgerald shows how West Egg citizens like Gatsby and Nick have not actually achieved their American Dream, despite what it looks like on the surface. Gatsby’s dream comes in the form of Daisy - being with her is all he has ever wanted in life. Nick, observing Gatsby, said, “He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy…” (91). Jay’s determination to take advantage of any interaction he got with Daisy was so great that he couldn't even take his eyes off her. But, the dream dies Gatsby’s quest to win her love falls short as she ends up back with Tom. In addition to this, it turns out that Gatsby was no rags-to-riches success story after all. He earned his money through bootlegging and gambling with other people involved in criminal activity. As with Nick, his dream is dead as well. Although it is never truly clear
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A theme is a lesson that a literary text conveys about humanity. Is Edgenuity meaning of theme. Spark notes meaning is that they are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in literary work. In short, a book’s theme can usually answer the question, “what’s the point of this book?”
“I lived at West Egg, the—well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. [...] Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water” (14-15). -In Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s highly regarded novel, The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan gets caught between a love for her first love, Jay Gatsby, and her current husband, Tom Buchanan.
Thomas Foster emphasizes that symbols have many different interpretations that are determined by our “individual history.” Factors such as race, gender, religion, and education contribute to our “individual history” to give every reader a differing perspective on literature. Symbols are used throughout The Great Gatsby to further develop themes of the decline of the American Dream, class and societal differences, and the difficulty of time. For example, one evolving symbol in The Great Gatsby is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. At the beginning of the novel, the light represents the dream Gatsby has to be with Daisy, but as the possibility of attaining his dream diminishes, we see the symbol change.
The 1920’s was a time of economic boom and prosperity. The riches and glamour of the time period were idolized by those living then, but many people were not aware of the shadowy side of The Jazz Age. The characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel represent the people of the 1920’s who were surrounded by material items and a surface of artificial happiness. In The Great Gatsby the East and West Eggs, Myrtle’s apartment, and the use of opposing colors, like black and white used throughout the book are all symbols that represent the duality of the time period.
Where one settles and decides their surroundings shapes who they become and who they are. It determines morals, values, and beliefs all while shaping one’s character. Occasionally, one’s address is determined by wealth, which for centuries, has divided people into separate categories and class systems. This idea of surroundings forming and molding an individual, was included in The Great Gatsby, for Fitzgerald uses the various settings to carefully illustrate how wealth positively and negatively affects individuals' lives in the roaring 20’s and the traits it reveals about each character. East Egg and West Egg are both known as a residence for the socially elite and affluent of the east coast, but possess differences that separate the characteristics
There are copious examples of symbolism showing up in F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. One example of symbolism is when gatsby almost knocks over an old clock but gatsby impedes the clock from hitting the ground and resolves the problem by putting it upright and setting it to the correct time. Some people may misconstrue this as Gatsby being diligent but in reality he is doing something that is quiet odd, Gatsby is trying to turn back time not just the clock but also time itself, and although normal people know that this is not possible gatsby thinks that it is. Another Symbol that shows up are Wolfsheim's disconcerting cufflinks, these symbolize his bellicose behavior, when someone doesn’t follow proper decorum around him he supress’s
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we see his ideals and beliefs take form in a 20th century community. The characters in the novel all are aspiring to capture the “American Dream” In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to our narrator Nick. Nick has just moved into the fictional town of West Egg on long island. Across the water, there is another town called East Egg, and these communities are separated based off of wealth and social status.
Wealth is the power that motivates creation and empowers downfall. For centuries it has divided people into separate categories and class systems. Fitzgerald uses the various settings to carefully illustrate how wealth positively and negatively affects individuals lives in the roaring 20’s and the traits it reveals about each character. East Egg and West Egg are both known as a residence for the socially elite and affluent of the east coast, but possess differences that relay the characteristics of the inhabitants of each. West Egg is home to Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel, and Jay Gatsby, his mysterious next door neighbor who introduces him to grand facade of the 1920s.
Nick’s American Dream was the opposite of Gatsby’s; he always strived to see and do new things every day, constantly reaching for the future, while Gatsby only wanted to relive his past with Daisy. Once Nick feels like there is nothing left for him to discover in New York, he moves back west to rediscover the lost excitement after Gatsby’s death. Nick also believed that Gatsby was foolish in his American Dream because it was unattainable. Nick uses imagery to illustrate the appeal of West Egg before Gatsby’s death, describing the illusions of “those gleaming, dazzling parties”, stating that he could “still hear the music and the laughter, faint and incessant” (Fitzgerald 179).
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the story of Jay Gatsby’s life through Nick Carraway’s point of view. Fitzgerald uses symbolism to create the theme of the failed American Dream. Character symbols, location symbols, and object symbols help to create the theme of the failed American Dream. The use of character symbols creates the theme of the failed American Dream.
Finally at the end of the passage Nick describes the West Egg by comparing it to one of the Greco’s painting. Nick says “I see it as a night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen overhanging sky and lustreless moon.” When looking at the painting, there is a wealthy city with grand buildings and houses on top of a hill, but behind the buildings there is a dark cloud. The dark cloud symbolizes the hidden secrets and lies behind the wealth and riches in the West. By Nick comparing the West Egg to a painting instead of describing it through his own experiences, it suggest that he doesn’t want to be associated with the West Egg and wants to distance himself from there.
”(Burnam,pg4) It wasn't the chaotic and careless lifestyle in which Gatsby lived in that resulted in his downfall, but rather the realization that he can never be with Daisy. During the 1920’s to have great wealth was the goal in life. We see this in the manner in which Gatsby attained his wealth and why. As article 2 states, “The new millionaires emerging from the Gilded Age promulgated the myth of the self-made man. This myth stressed the notion that the most important goal was individual betterment… achieved by a combination of sustained work and strength of character, no matter how obscure one’s social origins were.”
She Cried, "Your Symbols Look So Cool. Your Symbols Always Look So Cool." A symbol is a word that is understood as a representation of an idea. Symbolism gives a universal feeling to the themes and characters in works of literature. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, symbols intertwine within the plot of the novel drawing importance to events and ideas within the overall story.
Archetypal Lens of The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby uses the settings of East Egg and West Egg to symbolize the different levels of social status. The superior East Egg consists of people who were born into money, while the people of the less fashionable West Egg worked for their money (Fitzgerald 5-6). The division of the upper class through the symbols of the East Egg and West Egg suggests an archetypal reading of the novel.
Set in Long Island and New York City in the early 1920 's, F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby, tells the story of a man, Gatsby, who devotes his entire adult life with the sole purpose of pursuing his unrealistic dream of recapturing the past. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald warns the readers about the adversities brought by the ideas of the American dream [wealth], obsession, blind pursuit of love. Fitzgerald illustrates to the readers the calamities that accompany the pursuance of the American dream through Jay Gatsby. Gatsby 's success story of rags to riches makes him the embodiment of the American dream having started life in poverty, as the son of unsuccessful farmers. By the time he was an adolescent, he had even less, after