Use of Symbolism to Reveal a Character's Personality in the Great Gatsby

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Use of Symbolism to Reveal a Character's Personality in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a love story about one man's desire to climb the social ladder and to marry the girl of his dreams. In this novel, Fitzgerald uses imagery and many symbols to reveal significant aspects of the central character, Jay Gatsby's, personality. The green light reveals hope in Gatsby's future. His mansion is also a symbol, representing his wealth but also how he still wishes to be classed higher in society. The Eggs also represent the barriers between the upper and lower classes of Long Island.

First of all, the colour green that is displayed through the light that Gatsby notices "[Daisy] always [has on] that burns all night at the end of [her] dock" (91) represents Jay Gatsby's jealousy towards Tom Buchanan as well as his hopes for his future, including the American Dream. Envy that Gatsby feels for Tom Buchanan is present because Gatsby loves Daisy and wanted to marry five years ago, but could not because of the difference in social class. At the time, Daisy was a rich girl and Jay, a poor boy. Daisy could not have possibly married someone as poor as Jay Gatsby and could not wait around for him either, so she married Tom Buchanan, which leads to Gatsby's jealousy. When they are all in town, Gatsby tells Tom that "[Daisy has] never loved [him]" (124) and rather that she has loved Gatsby all along. He tells Tom that "[Daisy] only married [him] because [he] was poor and she was tired of waiting for [him]" (124). When Gatsby "[stretches] out his arms out toward the dark water" (25) at the green light, this shows Gatsby reaching for his love, Daisy Buchanan, trying to grab the woman that he could never have, which seems so close but is farther than it appears. The green light represents Gatsby's obsession with love and his hopes to reconcile with Daisy which leads to also representing the American Dream, a dream that anyone can live the...
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