Looking At Symbolism In The Great Gatsby English Literature Essay

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F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his novel, The Great Gatsby to stand for the rise and autumn of the American Dream, an ideal worshipped during the 1920s. The writer places the rich and affluent life style on a high base while he shows the dramatic effects of moral and societal decay amongst the characters. As each turning point is revealed, the American Dream slowly crumbles in the selfish custodies of those who remain nescient to anything else in the universe. The significance of the many symbolic elements in The Great Gatsby plays a function in uncovering the underlying subjects of the American Dream, the on-going clang between love and wealth and societal and moral devastation.

The writer uses the Valley of Ashes, a little town between the West Egg and New York City, to typify the moral and societal decay that stems from the desire to go affluent. The Valley of Ashes, “ a antic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the signifiers of houses and chimneys and lifting fume and eventually, with a transcendent attempt, of work forces who move indistinctly and already crumpling through the powdery air ” ( Fitzgerald 23 ) , symbolizes a morally stripped topographic point where materialistic and false people can populate in harmoniousness. The unfortunate events that occur in the Valley of Ashes, including Gatsby ‘s decease, the matter between Tom and Myrtle and Myrtle ‘s inadvertent decease, represent the terrible effects stemming from the failed efforts at accomplishing the American Dream. As the characters travel through the Valley of Ashes to make elsewhere, they are forced to minimize themselves to a lower societal position, as seen when Tom engages in an matter with Myrtle, a poor-stricken adult female, who entirely provides another signifier of comfort. Serving as a symbol of societal and moral devastation, the Valley of Ashes besides symbolizes the status in which the poorer American society lived during the 1920s. The description of the Valley of Ashes used through colour symbolism, creates a melancholy ambiance which allows the reader to link the importance of the “ bare strip of land ” ( Fitzgerald 22 ) to the negative personality alterations, reflective of the 1920s, within the characters.

The tragic and coinciding events that occur in the Valley of Ashes are viewed through the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, a hoarding with fading eyes that symbolizes God judging American society as a moral and societal barren. Fitzgerald includes the Valley of Ashes to stand for the morally diminishing, mercenary society in which the characters live in, watched over by the pietistic eyes of T. J. Eckleburg, lending in the devastation of the American Dream. Letha Audhuy describes the hoarding of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg as “ a new, but false God, who, the people ( in the individual of Wilson ) believe, “ sees everything ” . In America in the 1920s the new God was commerce or philistinism ” ( Audhuy 111 ) . The hoarding symbolizes an outside point of view of the material-driven attitude of the 1920s, a chief subject in The Great Gatsby. The symbolic significance of T.J. Eckleburg and the connexion between the chief subject is viewed subsequently in the novel when Daisy finds Gatsby similar to an advertizement, uncovering that Daisy finds Gatsby attractive for the mercenary camouflage he portrays. The writer continues to cite the usage of advertizement throughout the novel to stress how the mercenary attitudes of the American Dream are revealed. In relation to the characters, Gatsby ‘s vernal inventive “ belief in her [ Daisy ] flawlessness is based more on the projection of his phantasies of her than on her existent character ” ( Burnam 46 ) connects to the immortal young person and wealth that advertisements portray, giving a clear account as to why Fitzgerald chose to halt the development of the characters and spread out on their moral and societal devastation. In add-on to the symbolic objects in The Great Gatsby, the scene within the novel, the Valley of Ashes, West and East Egg, plays a critical function in portraying the destruction of the American Dream.

The colourss in The Great Gatsby uncover the adored thought of the American Dream and present thematic elements within the characters and the destructive lives they lead. Within the novel, the colour symbolism reveals more inside informations about the personality of the characters and the importance subjects of the American Dream. The colour white and brilliantly colored sunglassess are connected to pureness and artlessness which is proven when Nick describes the interior of Tom ‘s house as “ bright ” ( Fitzgerald 12 ) and the Windowss are “ glittering white against the grass ” ( Fitzgerald 12 ) . This peculiar colour becomes connected with childhood, in relation to pureness, as Fitzgerald describes Jordan ‘s “ maidenhood ” ( Fitzgerald 31 ) as “ beautiful [ and ] white ” ( Fitzgerald 32 ) . The colour yellow, stand foring craftiness, is displayed through the writer ‘s usage of imagination in The Great Gatsby. As the novel begins, Daisy and Jordan are have oning white frocks, giving the distinguishable feeling of pureness, but as the novel progresses, the colour of their apparels alterations to yellow while their drosss and moral imperfectnesss are revealed. Green, as recognized with the symbol of the green visible radiation, symbolizes despairs of the hereafter, a widespread attitude of the American Dream. Within the first chapter, Gatsby is seen gazing hopefully at the terminal of Daisy Buchanan ‘s dock with “ a individual green visible radiation ” ( Fitzgerald 26 ) , linking his unapproachable desires with Daisy to the symbolic object. The

“ His bosom round faster and faster as Daisy ‘s white face came up to his ain. He knew that when he kissed this miss, and everlastingly wed his ineffable visions to her perishable breath, his head would ne’er frolic once more like the head of God. So he waited, listening for a minute longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips ‘ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the embodiment was complete ” ( Fitzgerald 117 )

The typical symbols used in The Great Gatsby connect the on-going subjects of the 10920s throughout the novel with the societal and morally destructive characters seeking to accomplish the American Dream, making more internal and external harm along the manner. Fitzgerald ‘s usage of symbolism allows for the novel to “ decide to divergent attitudes about money and about the possibility of recognizing love in the meretricious, dream-factory civilization of America, the idealism of Gatsby at the nucleus of the narrative ” ( Lathbury 65 ) . The concealed significance of the many symbolic elements in The Great Gatsby plays a function in uncovering the subjects of the American Dream, the on-going clang between love and wealth and societal and moral devastation.