Symbolism in Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the symbolism in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby".
# 151130 | 2,877 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 23, 2012 in Literature (American)

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The paper analyzes how F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby", is filled with symbolism that focuses on the extravagance of the twenties. The paper highlights how Gatsby, Daisy and Tom symbolize the greed and extravagance of this self-serving generation, while adultery is a symbol of the moral indecency that permeates the society. The paper also analyzes the green light on Buchanan's deck, the affluence, the Valley of Ashes, Doctor T. J. Eckleburg's eyes and the East and West Eggs. Finally, the paper discusses Nick as a symbol of the realism that everyone else lacked.

From the Paper:

"Gatsby is a complicated character because even as he symbolizes the lavishness of his generation, he also symbolizes the American Dream. His chronicle is actually a successful one in that he made his own wealth. He had an objective and he achieved it, which is admirable. He worked hard and made a name for himself. This is the epitome of the American Dream and Gatsby does this very well. However, in all his efforts, Gatsby misses the mark along the way. He lets his foolishness regarding love not only interfere with his fortune but also literally destroy it. We cannot look at Gatsby's achievement without also looking it his decline. Gatsby is a symbol of the silliness associated with love. He wagers everything on the notion that Daisy will return to him and when this does not happen, he is crushed in more ways than one. Her love was everything to him and when it seemed that love was lost, Gatsby lost his will to carry on with his extraordinary lifestyle. What energizes Gatsby to become great is what destroys him. In this sense, Gatsby is a symbol of the mistakes we make when we think we are doing the right thing but do not slow down enough to consider the risks."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Bantam Books. 1974.

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