The Deceitful Green Light
Green is the color of hope and it is viewed as one of the most important symbols in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby believed in the power of green light and its ability to provide him with everything that he desired. He felt that it could take away all his worries and create a prosperous life for him. Gatsby is characterized as being naïve since his dreams led him from rags to riches, and he was able to see a new developed America. Clearly, the green light represents far more than just a dock light. It represents the distinctive differences between the West and East Egg, the obsessive love Gatsby has for Daisy, and how Gatsby wants to live the ‘American Dream.’ The green light also consequently becomes the reason for Gatsby’s downfall at the end of the novel. The green light symbolizes the class distinction between the East and West Eggers. The green light is located across the bay on the East side where Gatsby is pointing. Even though both sides are equally rich, there is something that Gatsby lacks that is located on the other side. Nick, the narrator of the book discovers his neighbor reaching towards something. He finds it rather absurd to see a man, late at night standing at the end of his neighbor’s dock looking out into nothing but a single green light that is continuously blinking. He states, “ I could’ve sworn he was trembling involuntarily I glance seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of the dock”(Fitzgerald, 25). Nick Abidi, 2 seems to spend that night contemplating on whether or not that green light has a significant meaning in Gatsby’s life. Also, the green light is located in the East Egg. In comparison to the East and West Egg, Nick notices the difference to a great extent. He states, “I lived at the West Egg, the-well, less fashionable of the two, thought this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them” “Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water…”(Fitzgerald, 10). Although people from both sides are considered rich and were brought up through the economic ladder, social status separates them. The question is whether the author attempts to make the East Egg more superior by having Gatsby reach out for something that at first does not belong to him.
Even at the time that Gatsby becomes rich, the East Eggers do not accept him as they feel that he is from an inferior class having gained prosperity recently. He is embarrassed about his past since he comes from a poor family and wants to hide this from society. Like a child, he takes advantage of his new surroundings. Gatsby acknowledges that even though the West and East Egg were part of one city, they still never became united. The green light inspires Gatsby to organize lavish parties that help bring the new and old rich together. Since the green light constantly reminds him that there is a difference, he makes the parties more consistent and better each time. De Valera mentions her opinion in her magazine blog called 6th Year DeValera Study Guide. She writes, “Despite the superficial nature of his parties, there seems to be something authentic about Gatsby. His display is really something else. Gatsby maybe a “West Egger”, he may behave like a nouveau riche, however perhaps there is some substance to him that the bespectacled Owl Eyes, whose glasses recall the omniscient eyes of Eckleburg witness in the authenticity of his library.” (De Valera, 6th Year DeValera Study Guide). This proves that...
Cited: DeValera, "The Great Gatsby: Chapter Summaries and Analysis"." 6th year DeValera Study Guide 2012 . Print.
Fitzgerald, Scott. Francis. The Great Gatsby. England: Penguin Books, 1926. Print.
Hilmeyer, Barabara K. The Shattering Of the Green Light : An Exploration of Gatsby 's Dream. Ed. Richard G. Brown. New York: n.p., 2012 . Print.
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