The Great Gatsby
The green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock is a significant symbol with the book. To Gatsby, the green light represents his dream, which is Daisy. To attain her would be completing Gatsby’s American dream.
The first time the green light is spoken about in the novel is also the first time nick see’s Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald writes, “ he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling ….nothing except a single green light, minute and far away” (pg 26). The green light is described as “minute and far away” which makes it appear impossible to reach. This will prove to be true for Gatsby. The green light also represents society’s desire and the seeming impossibility of achieving the materialistic American dream.
Further into the novel, it is revealed that Gatsby’s desire for Daisy is also his desire for the past. Five years ago, when Gatsby first meets Daisy and they fall in love. Daisy was the representation of status and wealth, she represents the green light which is his dream. He attains this wealth by “owning drugs stores, a lot of drug stores. He built them up himself” (pg 115) to use in his perusal of Daisy. Now that Gatsby is wealthy he moves to a mansion in west egg “ the less fashionable of the two” (pg 9). Across the bay “ East egg glittered along the water” (pg 10) which is where daisy lives. However now that he desires Daisy, he also desires the past that he shared with her when he says, “ just Hernandez
tell him the truth…..and it’s all wiped out forever.” (pg 139).
In conclusion at the end of the novel Nick ends the book with these words “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us……borne back ceaselessly into the past” (pg 189). Everything he does in the novel is to try and recreate the past. In this metaphor, Gatsby tries to go against the currents or time to reach the green light or his...
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