Symbolism in "The Great Gatsby" F.Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by IgmatheoHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.8

The Great Gatsby is a story with many aspects that are symbolic of deeper meanings. From the colors Fitzgerald associates with different objects to geographical locations, symbolism can be seen throughout The Great Gatsby.

The most obvious of the symbolic colors in the story is the color green. It comes to the mind right away when Nick Carraway, the narrator, says that, "[Gatsby] stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light ... that might have been the end of a dock," (26). In fact it was at the end of Daisy's dock. The woman he literally changed his whole life around for just so he could be with her again. To Gatsby, that little green light represented all his dreams of the future, the dream he changed his name for, the "oh so great" American dream; which allowed anyone with the brains and determination to rise up from any social condition to the upper rankings of society.

The color green has many meanings, all of which could be correlated into the novel. Green is the color of serenity, which means everything is perfect. What should have been a warning to Gatsby, to not strive for Daisy anymore because his chance was years earlier and everything is as it should be, he just didn't get. As Nick put it at the end of the story, "I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could fail to grasp it. He did...