Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

By | September 28, 2017

Symbols are ever used in novels to assist readers understand the narrative in-depth. In Francis Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. symbols are widely used for Jay Gatsby and George Wilson’s character development. Symbols such as the country where these two characters lived. the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. and the autos in this narrative were all used for this. This novel was filled with symbols and symbolism. which try to convey Fitzgerald’s thoughts to the reader. Symbols were invariably used in Fitzgerald’s novel to assist develop the characters of George Wilson and Jay Gastby.

An of import symbol was where Jay Gatsby and George Wilson lived. and how it symbolized their dreams. The people who lived in East Egg were people who had attained the dream. wealth and power. whereas the people populating in West Egg were still endeavoring to achieve it. Gatsby. a adult male affluent plenty to populate in East Egg chose to purchase an estate and live in West Egg. Gatsby’s dream was non to be able to be affluent and powerful. but it was to be together with Daisy. “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be merely across the bay” ( Fitzgerald 76 ) .

This is why he lived in West Egg ; he was still endeavoring to accomplish his dream. George Wilson. on the other manus. lived in an country between New York and West Egg that was called the “valley of ashes” ( 26 ) . He was a adult male who lived in this “desolate country of land” ( 26 ) . and ran his ain garage. This was really symbolic because he was populating in neither East nor West Egg. but in a topographic point where people with lost dreams lived. The vale he lived in represented his lost dreams ; he had non attained his dreams nor would of all time make so. George Wilson and Jay Gatsby were two work forces populating in two really different topographic points. and these symbols helped develop their character.

The eyes of Doctor T. J Eckleburg were lone portion of an old advertizement that had been abandoned. but was an of import symbol throughout the novel. They were a symbol of a God-like figure that was ever watching over the “valley of ashes” ( 26 ) . The vale in which this advertizement hung was portrayed as a topographic point where people with lost dreams lived. George Wilson had lived in this topographic point for over “eleven years” ( 37 ) with his married woman. Myrtle. He had ne’er been able to accomplish his dream of being rich. and was stuck life in this topographic point. In a conversation with a immature adult male named Michaelis. George refers back to an statement with his married woman. “You may gull me. but you can’t fool God! ” Standing behind him. Michaelis saw with a daze that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg ( 152 ) .

George was overwhelmed by these eyes and they besides watched as he changed from a one time diffident and timid individual to a obstinate adult male. When Daisy and Gatsby ran over Myrtle in their auto. “her life violently extinguished. knelt in the route and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust” ( 131 ) . the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg were besides watching. This was symbolic because they watched how Gatsby’s dream was shattered and even how this accident would finally take to Gatsby’s decease. The eyes of Doctor T. J Eckleburg were an of import symbol used to develop the characters of Jay Gatsby and George Wilson.

Throughout the novel. autos were used invariably as symbols to stand for character. Gatsby and George both use autos. but the types of autos they associate with are really symbolic. Gatsby’s auto. a Rolls Royce. was. “a rich pick colour. bright with Ni. swollen here and at that place in its monstrous length with exultant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes. and terraced with a maze of windscreens that mirrored a twelve suns” ( 63 ) .

This auto was non merely beautiful and expensive but it besides represents Gatsby’s dream to happen and be with Daisy Buchanan. It is besides a symbol for all material wealth and the chase of such wealth that consequences in ownerships like this auto. George on the other manus is a really exanimate adult male. He can ne’er achieve his dream and his auto was “the dusty wreck of a Ford which crowded in a dim corner” ( 27 ) . George’s dream was similar to this auto ; left in the darkness and ne’er thought of once more. George no longer had a dream and was a hapless and unhappy adult male. The autos in this novel were really of import because they were symbols that represent Gatsby and George’s characters.

In Fitzgerald’s novel. symbols were used often to develop the characters of George Wilson and Jay Gatsby. The topographic points where they lived. the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. and the autos were all used to demo this. George’s garage and the hoarding across from it. the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. symbolized his dream to be successful. Gatsby’s estate and his auto symbolized his effort to make his dream to be with Daisy Buchanan. These symbols were all used to develop their characters and aid readers understand this fresh in-depth.