Essay On Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

1068 WordsJun 5, 20175 Pages
In the 1920s, the idea of acquiring happiness changed into a desire for wealth by whatever means; mistaken that money will bring joy in one’s life. This conception led to the end of true morality and turned a person into someone very selfish. F.Scott Fitzgerald demonstrates this notion through the use of a variety of symbols and themes.One of the dominant ideas within this novel is wealth which is supported through the symbol: eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. The eyes symbolize the loss of spiritual values and growing commercialism in America. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, the theme wealth creates a pathway to the corruption of morals is evident through the decisions and thoughts of the Buchanans and Gatsby who are influenced by the eyes of…show more content…
Similarly, Tom’s mindset is also seen when he says “and what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart, I love her all the time" (Fitzgerald 131). This claim to loving Daisy comes off as fake and manipulative. One also observes that Tom is under-reporting his inappropriate behavior and ignoring how damaging his actions can be to others. He is using his wealth as assurance of being able to dodge serious repercussion and leaving others to suffer. The values the Buchanans hold seem to simply be around the idea of: get as much and don’t get caught. The Buchanans do not have an internal or external moral compass, however, the eyes of TJ Eckleburg come closest to being an external motivator for Tom and Daisy. The eyes help them to a certain extent realize the morality of their actions, as they squirm and become uncomfortable under the eyes’ gaze. It symbolizes the painful eyes watching over the decaying morals of people like the Buchanans because of the growing existence of money in their life. Gatsby’s power of dreaming is the quality that makes him “great” however it is reduced to a motivation for material gain because the object of his dream is unworthy. Gatsby runs after Daisy as if she is a
Open Document