"Great Gatsby" Symbolism

Essay by needsajobHigh School, 11th grade September 2006

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Often, an individuals' obsession with the past greatly affects his actions in the present , which sometimes leads to disastrous conclusions. One can extrapolate from that statement that someone chasing a dream from the past, will act in the present in such a way, as to realize that dream. Often those actions will lead them to disaster. Such is the case of Jay Gatsby, a character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby. Gatsby sent his life chasing his dream, a girl named Daisy. This obsession ultimately leads to his death. F. Scott Fitzgerald draws the reader into the story of Gatsby's obsession using symbols and straight actions throughout his novel.

F. Scott Fitzgerald uses numerous symbols to get his point across to the readers. One noteworthy symbol that expressed Gatsby as a person living in the past is in chapter five. The clock Gatsby clumsily knocks down would be seemingly unimportant if the readers were not also told that the clock did not work.

This is important because the clock symbolizes how Gatsby is just like it in living a moment of the past in the present. F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses the symbol of the green light. The light can be seen as a guide to a destination of a great holy being just like the star in the east was a guide for the wise men towards the Messiah. The light is also a symbol of Gatsby's unrelenting hope that everything will turn out like his dreams and that she will leave her husband for him. The hope he feels that she will one day be his leads him to work and get money in order to be worthy of her love. Daisy is the reason that Gatsby has such an ambition to improve himself...