Sample Essay - 'Gatsby is a ghost'

  • Created by: Paula
  • Created on: 28-09-11 14:22

‘Gatsby is a ghost’


In ‘The Great Gatsby’ there are numerous symbols of death and ghosts throughout the book, especially about Gatsby himself.


For example, in chapter four Gatsby is referred to as “pale as death” before meeting Daisy again. This simile suggests that he is colourless and pretty lifeless and could be signifying that Daisy is the colour in his life as later, when they are together and talking; Nick says that Gatsby “literally glowed” and “a new well being radiated from him”. This could suggest that Gatsby has, metaphorically, come back to life as his dreams of the past have finally come into the present and possibly the future. The juxtaposition of this suggests that Gatsby is caught up in the past as he can only see his past life with Daisy and wants to carry off from then. He has completely disregarded the past 5 years, which implies that Gatsby is merely a ghost of who he should be in the present as he has been unable to develop into that person. However, the fact he is as “pale as death” also implies that Gatsby is also a ghost of who he used to as well because something inside him has made him pale through dying, possibly qualities that would have been admirable have given way to his delusions of the future with Daisy. These delusions suggest that he is stuck in the past and future


SP 2011


This is really good and helpful. Thank you :)