Civil Disobedience

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Symbol Pages: 3 (880 words) Published: May 22, 2014
“Symbolism” The Great Gatsby
In the 1920’s it was said that the American Dream was initially about the realization of happiness. Everyone began to believe that money could simply buy happiness. Although, the phrase “American Dream” was not specifically used in the book it is quite obvious that Fitzgerald shows the significance and definition of the American Dream. He also uses symbols and themes during the whole book to demonstrate the American Dream. Some of the symbols he uses are the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg, the valley of ashes and the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

The first symbol that is used in the book is the valley of ashes. The valley of ashes is shown as poverty, mysterious and lifeless. The ashes built up to become hills and form houses and chimneys. He says the ashes build chimneys and houses, because he is using that as symbols to represent the low-quality houses that poor people have built there. He also uses the term “ashes” as a symbol to signify the factories and industries. To be able to get to New York City you had to go through the valley of ashes which was a skinny and dirt path. Individuals who lived in the West Egg also had to travel on the narrow path. Fitzgerald believed that the valley of ashes split up the West and East Egg money wise, because it was defined as the oldest American aristocracy.

The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are another symbol that is mentioned in the book. The eyes are faded and painted on a billboard in the valley of ashes. Although, everyone believes that the eyes symbolize God, it is not specifically said in the book. The only person who has a connection with the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and God exists is George Wilson. To Nick the eyes stand as a haunting waste of time. To Gatsby the eyes mean vacant or vigil. Even though the eyes look meaningless and empty some people think more of it and think the billboard actually has some use and meaning to it.

The green light at the end of Daisy’s...
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