ELIT 10 / Fleming
May 2nd, 2013
Foreshadowing in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a story of the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his romantic love for Daisy Buchanan. Although they both love each other, their love story ends terribly; Daisy involves in a big car accident, while Wilson, the husband of the car accident’s victim, tragically kills Gatsby. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald effectively uses several images and symbols that foreshadow both the car accident and Gatsby’s death, gradually leading the reader from the beginning towards the tragic ending of the story. Fitzgerald includes several small car incidents at the beginning of the story in order to foreshadow the big car accident at the end. In chapter three, Owl-eyes and another guest of Gatsby’s house party have crashed their car into a ditch, causing a wheel to detach from the car. This small accident uses the car to symbolize destruction and problem, suggesting that there is a violent car accident at the end of the story. In addition, Owl-Eyes does not understand that the wheel is broken; he insists to find a gas station because he thinks that his car has run out of gas. When the other men tell him that the wheel is off, Owl-Eyes says, “Wonder’ff tell me where there’s a gas’line station?” (Fitzgerald 60). This misunderstanding illustrates how people are unable to critically understand and think the consequences of their unethical action. Thus, this scene also foreshadows how Daisy is being very irresponsible and unable to think by driving off after hitting Myrtle. In the end of chapter three, Nick and Jordan are also very close to a car accident. Nick describes, “[Jordan] passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on one man’s coat” (Fitzgerald 63). Judging from Nick’s description, Jordan is a bad driver who drives very carelessly. If there is really a car accident, then it is fully Jordan’s mistake for not being careful.
Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.