Symbolism Of The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1130 Words5 Pages
Symbolism is commonly used in literature to change or deepen meanings or instill a different meaning to the mind of the readers. The reader is forced to think, make connections, and succeed in adding a new meaning to the novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald is a master of hiding deeper meanings behind a text as clearly showcased in the novel The Great Gatsby. The “iceberg theory” describes that only around 20% of the story is directly revealed through text. In comparison to an actual iceberg, that is usually the portion of the floating ice mountain that is visible above water. The other 80% of the story lies behind the scenes and is integrated in the structure of the story. This is similar to the lower part of iceberg that is located underwater: the…show more content…
The unfortunate events that occur in the Valley of Ashes, the affair between Tom and Myrtle which ultimately led to Myrtle 's accidental death, represent the severe consequences brought about by the failed attempts at achieve the American Dream. Tom wanted everything all at the same time a concept typically associated with the 1920’s, a time full of loss of inhibitions and little self control. The Valley of Ashes also symbolizes the condition in which the poorer American society lived during the 1920s. The description of the Valley of Ashes as a "desolate strip of land" (Fitzgerald 22), allows the reader to recognize the negative personality changes, reflective of the 1920s. Fitzgerald was well known for writing in an almost satirical manner to describe his opinions of the 1920’s.
The tragic and coincidental events that occur in the Valley of Ashes do not go unnoticed however, they are endlessly patrolled by the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. Another clear symbol in the book is the famous billboard with fading eyes that symbolizes God judging American society as a moral and social wasteland. A wasteland watched over by the faultless eyes of T. J. Eckleburg, contributing in the destruction of the American Dream. Fitzgerald includes the Valley Chiarelli 3 of Ashes to represent the morally deteriorating, materialistic society in which the characters live in. The billboard also symbolizes an outside viewpoint of the material-driven attitude of the 1920s, a
Get Access