Essay on Symbols of The Great Gatsby

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The 1920s were a time of big dreams, moral decline, and hardships in America . The Roaring Twenties were a different time altogether with its bootleggers and speakeasies, women becoming more independent, the poor becoming poorer, but through all this was The American Dream keeping the hope afloat. F. Scott Fitzgerald captured this era in his book, The Great Gatsby. Through his many symbols he illustrates the hopes, the forgotten God, and the oppressed Americans of the Twenties. The symbols in The Great Gatsby help convey several different themes, from wealth to loss of morals, to poverty.
The green light in The Great Gatsby is an ambiguous symbol. The green light is deceiving at first, tricking the reader into thinking it is
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” (Fitzgerald 98). The green light then changes its meaning to despair for now it is but a dream, a wistful, hopeless dream. Once Gatsby’s dream is within reach, his usual parties and extravagances are changed. “Each step towards the green light, however, shadows some part of Gatsby’s grandiose achievement. With Daisy’s disapproval the spectroscopic parties cease. To preserve her reputation Gatsby empties his mansion of lights and servants. And finally only darkness and ghostly memories tenant the deserted house” (Koster 37). The green light for Gatsby was a five year dream. The light is Daisy and hope for the future; however, the green light remains forever across the bay from him, just out of reach. God seems to be just out of reach as well. God is portrayed as a billboard that watches over the immoral occurrences of the valley of ashes. He is nothing more than a pair of eyes put there for business purposes and then forgotten. God was put on the back burner in the 1920s , while social lives and personal wants were brought to the front burner. “But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg…Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens and then sank down himself into eternal blindness or forgot them and moved away .” (Fitzgerald 27) God has been belittled to nothing more than an
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