Assignment On "Great Gatsby" Symbolism

900 words - 4 pages

Often, an individuals' obsession with the past greatly affects his actions in the present , which sometimes leads to disastrous conclusions. One can extrapolate from that statement that someone chasing a dream from the past, will act in the present in such a way, as to realize that dream. Often those actions will lead them to disaster. Such is the case of Jay Gatsby, a character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby. Gatsby sent his life chasing his dream, a girl named Daisy. This obsession ultimately leads to his death. F. Scott Fitzgerald draws the reader into the story of Gatsby's obsession using symbols and straight actions throughout his novel.F. Scott Fitzgerald uses numerous symbols to get his point across to the readers. One noteworthy symbol that expressed Gatsby as a person living in the past is in chapter five. The clock Gatsby clumsily knocks down would be seemingly unimportant if the readers were not also told that the clock did not work. This is important because the clock symbolizes how Gatsby is just like it in living a moment of the past in the present. F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses the symbol of the green light. The light can be seen as a guide to a destination of a great holy being just like the star in the east was a guide for the wise men towards the Messiah. The light is also a symbol of Gatsby's unrelenting hope that everything will turn out like his dreams and that she will leave her husband for him. The hope he feels that she will one day be his leads him to work and get money in order to be worthy of her love. Daisy is the reason that Gatsby has such an ambition to improve himself in the eyes of society. F. Scott Fitzgerald even uses the color preference of Daisy as a symbol. Throughout the whole book Daisy is linked with the color white. The reader can assume that the color was meant to represent the perceived notion of Daisy being pure and an angel-like figure. This notion is definitely the one Gatsby has of her, thus showing just how little he truly does know of her and what she is all about. This shows once again that Gatsby is chasing the past. It is shown through the fact that he is chasing the Daisy that once was and has continued to be created repeatedly in his head rather than the Daisy that currently exists.F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses Gatsby to great affect by his choice words and actions. In chapter six Nick Carraway, the narrator and voice of reason in the book, reminds Gatsby, in a consoling gentle voice, that the past is simply the past and can not be resurrected. While most people would agree, the readers are given another great insight into Gatsby with his response" why of coarse you can". This gives Gatsby the persona of an errant knight on a quest for illusive fire-breathing dragons. While that can never be realized Gatsby chases Daisy just like a knight marches on, chasing the dragons that he will never be able to reach. By doing this F. Scott Fitzgerald creates a character that can never truly function in the present but keeps returning to the past and modifying it so it is suitable to himself. That action however can never be realized in the present world. F. Scott Fitzgerald also uses the actions of Gatsby to great effect at the end of chapter seven, when Gatsby stands guard at the Buchanan mansion. He shows here that his obsession has gone so far that he is willing to sacrifice his own life for Daisy's. He stands guard in front of that house even though he is completely lost since his dream has died. He is still trying to hold unto the last remaining fragments of his adult life that night. In the beginning of chapter eight, the readers are told of Gatsby's surprise about not being needed by Daisy. Once again showing just how little he really knows about Daisy. The readers also realize that Gatsby refuses to let go of his dream that has kept him alive and going for his whole adulthood. This shows just how far Gatsby's dream as taken him from reality. The fact he will not leave town for his safety because despite having no evidence he believes that Daisy will come to him. This denial ultimately leads to his death at the hands of George Wilson.The reader can see throughout the book that Gatsby's obsession with his past especially Daisy, is his fatal flaw. His obsession with the past made him unable to deal with the present reality and caused him pain and finally death at the hands of his love. Gatsby may have had a future if he ever earned to live in the now rather than yester years.

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