The Great Gatsby: Symbolism of Houses and Cars

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (1176 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Francis Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, is full of symbolism, which is portrayed by the houses and cars in an array of ways. One of the more important qualities of symbolism within The Great Gatsby is the way in which it is so completely incorporated into the plot and structure. Symbols, such as Gatsby's house and car, symbolize material wealth.

Gatsby's house "[is] a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy" which contains "a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy" is a symbol of Gatsby's large illegal income(Fitzgerald 9)(9). Gatsby‘s large income isn‘t enough to keep him happy. He needs "The house he feels he needs in order to win happiness" and it is also the perfect symbol of carelessness with money which is a major part of his personality (Bewley 24). Gatsby's house like his car symbolizes his vulgar and excessive trait of getting attention. Gatz's house is a mixture of different styles and periods which symbolizes an owner who does not know their true identity. The Buchanan's house is symbolic of their ideals.

East Egg is home to the more prominent established wealth families. Tom's and Daisy's home is on the East Egg. Their house, a "red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay" with its "wine-colored rug[s]" is just as impressive as Gatsby's house but much more low-key (Fitzgerald 11)(13). East egg and Tom‘s home represents the established wealth and traditions. Their stable wealth, although lacking the vulgarity of new wealth, is symbolic of their empty future and now purposelessness lives together. The House also has a cold sense to it according to Nick. This sense symbolizes Tom's brutality, and as Perkins's says in his manuscript to Fitzgerald "I would know...Buchanan if I met him and would avoid him," because Tom is so cold and brute (Perkins 199).

Nick lives in West Egg in a rented house that "[is] a small eye-sore" and "had been overlooked"(Fitzgerald 10)....

Cited: /b>

  • Bewley, Marious. "Scott Fitzgerald Criticism of America." F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ed. Arthur Mizener. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963.

  • Bruccoli, Matthew J. Preface. The Great Gatsby. By F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. vii-xvi.

  • Bruccoli, Matthew. "The Price Was High: The Last Uncollected Series Of Francis Scott Fitzgerald." Dictionary of Literary Biography. 1981 ed.

  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

  • Lehan, Richard. The Great Gatsby: The Limits of Wonder. Boston: Twayne" Publishers, 1990.

  • Perkins. Afterword. The Great Gatsby. By Francis Fitzgerald. 1925. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

  • Rudin, Seymour. "Fitzgerald, Francis Scott Key." New Age Encyclopedia. 1978 ed.
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