We have looked at several symbols in The Great Gatsby. Select 3 key symbols from the
text and do the following for each symbol:
– Provide a description (using quotes) of the symbol from the text.
– Explain when and why the symbol appears throughout the text.
– Analyze what the symbol helps you to understand about an important character.
– Make a link between the symbol and the idea of illusion.
In The Great Gatsby, the green light is the light at the end of the pier by Tom and Daisy’s house. At the beginning of the novel, the symbol of green light is significant. However, towards the end of the novel, the mentioning of green light fades away. This is because the green light represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams. Because at the end of the book Gatsby loses hope in his dreams that is being with Daisy so the light begins to fade. The symbol of green light acts as a guide for Gatsby towards his overall goal.
Flowers are a big symbol in the book. They are used to materialize the rich. The author, Fitzgerald, has used flowers to describe three main characters being Daisy, Myrtle, and Nick Carraway. For example, Daisy’s name represents innocence, purity, and beauty, these are all appropriately chosen as she appears to have all of these qualities. But what you often don’t see at first glance in a daisy is yellow in the center. This yellow represents Daisy’s corruption and proves that her innocence and purity is just her appearance. This proves that Gatsby should have gotten to know Daisy better to see what she was really like before he immediately judged her.
In the novel water represents time. The bay of water that lies between West and East Egg shows how separated the two places are, and no matter how hard Gatsby tries they are always two different places and will always be apart. Both Gatsby and Daisy’s lives are too different to be together, and the water that fills the bay shows the last five years that they have been separated for. Water represents time and this shows how much Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship has been affected by the time that they have spent apart from each other. At the end of the book when Gatsby dies in the pool, it is showing how time has caught up with him.