The Great Gatsby Symbolism

points on symbolism of the great gatsby

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The ''Real books'' in Gatsby's library

The Owl-eyed man at Gatby's party stares in awe at all the ''real books'' in Gatby's library.

This astonishment works to suggest that a lot of what Gatsby presents to the world is just a facade. e.g He wants/makes people believe he is a well educated Oxford man when in relaity he only spent a short time there due to an error after the war. Meaning that the books represent that Gatsby is a fraud, he has built up and image of life which is not consistent with his actual reality.

Further more the fact the books are unopened and un-read could be compaired to Gatby himself as although there are dozens of rumours speculating about who he is and how he aquired his money the truth remains a hidden secret.

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The Eyes of T.J Eckleburg

Before Nick even explains what he's looking at and describing he goes on for three sentences about these huge eyes, leaving the reader puzzled.

Here, Fitzgerald is allowing the readers mind time to picture this eerie, creepy image. 
Allowing the reader to form their own personal notions of what the eyes could be, this then allowsthe eyes to become morethan just a billboard.

Later on in chapter 7 Nick again notices the eyes, as he's traveling upto the city shortly before the show down between Gatby and Tom.
He notices them keeping a ''watchful vigil''- this wording in connotation sounds fairly religious.

They then, again, make an appearance in chapter 8, when George takes Myrtle to the window, from which it is apparent the billboard is visible and tells her that she ''can't fool god'' - showing that wilson is making the same connection that the reader maypossibly be doing from the earlier chapter, that the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg are always watching and so are the eyes of god. 

Throughout the book it seems as though the eyes remainall-seeing, ever present and Nick points out ''frowning''. God still makes an appearance in the book despite the absence of religion that the characters have. 

In Addition you could take on the approach that God has been replaced by capitalism, as instead of a traditional representation of religion the best it could do is manifest God into a billboard - an advertisement. 

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The Green Light

The Green light on Daisy's house that Gatsby becomes obsessed with, staring at it from his house across the water represents his ''unattainable dream''

The Green light could also represent the hazy future that appears forever elusive.
''Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. it eluded us then, but thats no matter- tomorrow we will run further, stretch our arms out further.''

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The Colour white : Innocence and Femininity

The car she had before she was married was white, as were her clothes, the roomsof her house and so are most of the adjectives usedto descirbe her.
''White neck'', ''High in a white palace''

However if white is meant to imply innocence, Daisy is hardly a prime example of it as by the end of the book she is described as selfish, careless and destructive.
This could make the point that even the most purest of people can become corrupted?

The fact Daisy decides to remain with Tom, in some way allows her to keep her innocence. 

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The colour Blue : Gatsby's illusions

The colour Blue in The Great Gatsby symbolises Gatsby's romantic dreams of unreality.

His trandofrormation into Jay Gatsby is sparked off from when Cody buys him a ''blue coat''

His gardens are blue, his chauffeur wears a blue uniform, the blue water separates him from Daisy.

The eye's of T J eckleburg are also blue - so if blue does represent the illusions of reality, God may be seen as a non-existent dream. 

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Grey and the lack of colour: Lifelessness

Their is a great amount fo lack of colour in the grey ash heaps.

therefore if the ash heaps represent lifelessness anyone associated with this grey is going to be connected to the barren of lifelessness.

e.g Wilson:
''when anyone spoketo him he invariably laughed in an agreeable colourless way''
along with his face being described as ''Ashen'' and his eyes as ''pale'' and ''glazed''

it then becomes fitting that Wilson a symbol of lifelessness is the one to kill Gatby.

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