• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stanley Sy Sedgewick American Literature 3 December 2002 Essay #2: The Great Gatsby In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, symbolism is used extensively as a reflection of life in America during the age of bootleg liquor and organized crime. The narrator of the novel, Nick Carraway is an honest, responsible, and fair-minded man who traveled to New York to get into the bond business. Through the eyes of Nick, Fitzgerald tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a man who achieved wealth and status while pursuing his dream of true success. The novel contains three major symbols that critique the American Dream and the social decay of the American society in the 1920s: the green light at the end of Daisy's dock, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleberg, and the Valley of Ashes. The green light situated at the end of Daisy's dock is one of the multi-faceted symbols found in the novel. ...read more.

Middle

George Wilson, an unenergetic and impoverished man whose only passion is his love for his wife, refers Doctor T.J. Eckleberg's one-yard high blue eyes as those of God. George later on reveals he had taken his wife, Myrtle Wilson, a poor and voluptuous woman, who is desperate to improve her life, to the window just before she died and warned her, "God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me but you can't fool God!"(160) Fitzgerald uses the word careless frequently in describing most of characters and events in the novel. Since there seems to be no fear of consequence, Fitzgerald incorporates the eyes into the novel to symbolize a pair of omniscient and judging eyes, meant to intimidate the characters. The eyes of T.J. Eckleberg witnessed two dreadful crimes: Tom's affair with Myrtle and Myrtle's death at the hands of Daisy. All of these crimes go unpunished, as the eyes only look on and remind the characters of the guilt that they forget to have for what they have done. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Valley of Ashes also symbolizes the plight of the poor, like Myrtle Wilson, who live and work among the dirty ashes, which constantly reminded her of what others seem to have, that she cannot reach. This stimulates Myrtle to seek for a better life than what she has been given. Consequently, Myrtle died because of her search for the realization of the impossible of achieving the American Dream. In the novel, the Valley of Ashes, the eyes of T.J. Eckleberg, and the green light at the end of Daisy's dock, were used to evaluate the American Dream and the social decay of the American society in the 1920s. These three symbols discussed above noticeably justify the impossible to achieve the American Dream, as characters such as Gatsby and Myrtle failed to do so in the novel. It also clarifies the status of the American society during the 1920s, as a decade of social and spiritual decay, where characters such as Myrtle and Daisy, committed dreadful crimes but were unpunished. Finally, the novel reveals that the characters are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their dream. Sy 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Critical Evaluation - The Narrator's role in F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is ...

    This is shown by Nick's comment that There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams - not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. Gatsby gets rid of most of his servants because he believes that they

  2. The Great Gatsby by F.S Fitzgerald epitomizes the 1920's.

    "I'll hope she'll be a fool-that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" on p.22 Daisy while not a fool herself realizes that women in the 1920's were not respected, instead treated as more of a material being, like being owned by someone, like Tom 'owns' Daisy.

  1. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on 24 September 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota ...

    In chapter 2 Tom takes Nick to meet his lover Myrtle Wilson. At the petrol station, where she lives with her husband George, George is seen to be a quiet person who nobody respects. Tom, Myrtle and Nick go to the apartment in New York which Tom uses for his meetings with Myrtle.

  2. F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Daisy was the rich girl that he fell in love with before he joined the service. Unfortunately he just didn't have enough money to keep her while he was overseas. When Gatsby got back she was married to someone else but that didn't disuade him in the least.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work