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Discuss Fitzgerald's use of symbols within 'The Great Gatsby'

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Discuss Fitzgerald's use of symbols within 'The Great Gatsby'. Throughout his novel 'The Great Gatsby', F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism. Symbols are objects, characters, figures or colours used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The first symbol we see appears at the end of Chapter one. It is a green light, situated at the end of Daisy Buchanan's East Egg dock and is only just visible from Gatsby's expansive West Egg back garden. In Chapter one Nick (the narrator) describes his mysterious neighbour stretching "out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way', this is Gatsby reaching desperately out to the green light, which represents his hopes and dreams for the future (which incidentally, involved Daisy). He associates it with Daisy and sees the green light as a guiding light to his goal. Perhaps the green light represents Daisy, the unattainable. Alike to the green light, she is so close, yet so far from Gatsby and just within his grasp. ...read more.


In addition to this, throughout the book, the author does not make it clear what the symbols are or what they represent, he leaves it open so that the reader can make their own assumptions. Right the way through the novel, Fitzgerald uses colour in accordance with the character in focus, the mood of the scene, the status of the person and the overall situation at the time. For example, whenever we see Daisy she is wearing white and this colour represents purity and this is how she is seen by many people, as a serene, angelic figure. Another example is in chapter seven, this chapter is one full of drama and the heated atmosphere that is building is reflected in the frequent use of references to the colour red, "hot!... hot!... hot!...", the colour of anger, "crimson carpet". Also, the significant choice of green as the colour of the light (mentioned above). ...read more.


between west egg and New York City; it consists of a long stretch of desolate land crated by the dumping of industrial ashes. - It represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure. - It also symbolises the plight of the poor, like Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result. - Fitz uses the valley of the ashes as a dramatic contrast to the lives of the rich east and west egg dwellers, to really emphasise and show how large the difference between them is, despite them being so nearby. - He also uses it to highlight how superficial the rich are. They are the 'beautiful people' and this is reflected in where they live, however the valley of the ashes is dirty and unattractive. - The valley is actually used as a cut through road for the rich, however real people live there Daphna Starr ...read more.

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