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"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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  • November 6, 2003
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Speech of Persuasion

Critical Review of The Great Gatsby

The portrayal of symbols in the novel

In the novel, The Great Gatsby, there were many symbols set up by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Many of the symbols she used wouldn't usually be thought of as a symbol. However, in the book, the symbols were very descriptive and could be recognized easier than in the movie. The movie showed the symbols briefly, but they weren't expressed as much as in the book. Therefore, I think that the book did a better job of portraying the symbols.

There are three main symbols in the novel. The first of the three is the green light. Gatsby seems to always be staring or thinking about the green light. The green light symbolizes the hope and longing for Daisy. All that Gatsby wants is to get back together with Daisy. After arriving home from a visit with Tom and Daisy, Nick sees Gatsby out in his front lawn, reaching out for the green light. This emphasizes his need for Daisy. A quote from Nick in the end says, "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out farther...". Nick refers to the green light as the hopes and desires of everyone, that everyone has something for the future that they long for.

Another symbol is 'The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg'. They represent someone watching over all of the people in the story. It expresses the morals of the people of the 1920's and the decline of American purity and spirituality. "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their carelessness ... and let other people clean up the mess they had made." This quote shows the carelessness in the 1920's.

A third symbol is the valley of ashes in between West and East Egg. This valley represents the garbage dump where the poor live. It symbolizes the moral and social...