Symbol of green light in "The Great Gatsby" by Fitzgerald

Essay by askas1High School, 11th gradeA, February 2007

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The green light in the novel The Great Gatsby, by Mr. Fitzgerald, is a significant symbol which reflects the America's dream that Gatsby must have felt when he first laid eyes on Daisy. The green light is first mentioned in chapter one of the Great Gatsby by Nick, the narrator, who sees Gatsby staring into the starless night and reaching out in the darkness as a guiding light for him to find his goals. Green is the color of life, promises and dream. To Gatsby, his dream will live as long as he remains gazing at the light.

When we first begin, the reader has no idea what the green light is. Fitzgerald used that perfectly to his style. It is far more effective first to present a mysterious object and then gradually unveil the symbol for it then to give all the information away in the very beginning.

When Gatsby finally meets Daisy in chapter five, he shows Daisy the green light. The symbol of light becomes very clear to the reader. Daisy is so close to Gatsby's dream, but at the same time, she falls short of what he expected. To Gatsby, the green light is special only because it resembles something special to Gatsby. He would be lifeless, broken and dead without it. The main symbol becomes clearer in the novel's final paragraphs, in which Gatsby's green light is compared to the "green breast of the world". The word "Breast" suggests that the early Dutch explorers think of America as a woman, just like Gatsby's dream being Daisy. Nick also compares the green light to how America must have seen to the early settlers, full of unspoken promises and new life.

The green light is a great significance in the novel. The green light represent...