"The Great Gatsby" was written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Essay by MandyTheFreakHigh School, 11th grade December 2003

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What Is the Green Light?

The famous novel The Great Gatsby was written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the main characters in the book is Jay Gatsby, a man living next door to the narrator Nick Carraway at West Egg, Long Island. Gatsby often stands in his garden and watches a green light far away in the distance, on the other side of the water. What significance does that green light have?

The green light is mentioned three times in The Great Gatsby. The first time is on page 16, when Nick sees Gatsby stand in his garden, watching something. When Nick turns his head to see what Gatsby is looking at, all he sees is "a single green light, minute and far away". The second time the green light is mentioned is on page 60, when Gatsby tells Daisy (Nick's cousin) that "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock."

The third time is on the very last page of the novel: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther..."

The green light at the end of Daisy's dock symbolizes Gatsby's longing for Daisy, and to win her heart Gatsby tries to get more status and to "become someone". Gatsby has always strived to get status, money, acceptance and love. Already when he was little he was very ambitious and followed a strict schedule so that he would succeed in the future. He goes through his whole life longing for something better. Gatsby's problem is that he never gets satisfied; he has large, expensive parties in his garden with lots...