The Green Light in The Great Gatsby
The flashing light at the end of the dock across the water is first symbolically associated with Daisy. However, throughout the novel it gains new aspects and connotations, covering a full circle at the end of the novel. Throughout the novel the green light symbolizes various elements: Daisy's love, money, renewal, death, and American Dream.
The green light is introduced in chapter one for the first time:
He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way... a single green light,
minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.
The position of this green light reminds the reader of East Egg where Daisy Buchanan lives. Therefore, the first symbolic association is established between the green light and Daisy in the first chapter and the followings.
In chapter four the color green is associated with money and material comfort. The green leather conservatory of Gatsby's cream-colored car attracts the reader's attention. The real purpose behind Gatsby's lavish parties and his choice of habitat across the bay, just opposite the Buchanan's, is revealed to be a lure for Daisy so that she would drop by to his place one day. Thus the green light symbolizes Gatsby's obsession with Daisy's love and wealth.
Fitzgerald illuminates another angle of the green light in chapter five. The green house shipped to Nick's house meant for beautifying his house for the sake of Daisy's rendezvous with Gatsby connotes growth and renewal. In this way Gatsby celebrates Daisy's girlhood love towards himself.
In this chapter Gatsby's reference to the symbolic green light both heightens and changes its direction. Suddenly the visible angles of the symbol lose color, enabling the reader to eye the invisible perspectives towards the end of the novel.
Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now
vanished for ever. Now it was again a green light on a deck. His count...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document