22nd June 2017


Green Light: A green light always burns at the end of Tom and Daisy’s dock. This symbolizes Gatsby’s hope and dreams to be with Daisy. The green light appears in chapter 5 where Gatsby says to Daisy, “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,”“You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” This shows that Gatsby is still hopeful and believes in the light. At this moment Gatsby is with Daisy so he doesn’t feel worried that he can’t see the light through the mist as he was touching her.  At the start of the book it represents his hopes and dreams for Daisy but throughout the novel it shows that the green light idea collapses because Gatsby thinks he is able to ignore the last 5 years and Daisy’s personality and lifestyle. By the end of the novel it becomes an unreachable dream. The green light shows the idea of illusion because when Gatsby reaches for the green light, he cannot reach it because it is too far away. This is the same idea with Daisy he is reaching out for something that is not close enough.

The Eyes: The eyes are based in the valley of ashes which are looking over the city.The first time they are introduced is when Nick and other characters pass through the VOA. “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”. “The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose”. The eyes symbolise the loss of spiritual values in America. They show the idea of making the most money you can, a mans success is measured on how much money he has, not on what kind of person he is morally. God seems to have abandoned America, leaving only Eckleburg behind to stare down with his empty eyes on people who have left morals to ingest themselves in wealth. The eyes watch the people of America participate in corruptive behaviour. For example when Tom has his affair with Myrtle, when Nick goes to meet Wolfsheim on the way to NY City. The eyes frown down on these characters. He is also referred to god when Wilson finds out about the affair and says to Myrtle “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!”” However, Michaelis tries to point out to him that “It’s just a billboard.” The eyes also suggest the emptiness of the American Dream, the idea of working hard maintaining determination and motivation is all a lie. For the majority of people their hopes for gold are just like ashes. The idea that everyone can live the dream is just a dream. For most, life is the nightmare of the Valley of the Ashes which the Eyes frown down on all day long

Water: In the novel water symbolizes time in a way that Gatsby tries to go back up the current (past) yet he keeps getting pushed back to the present where he can’t change anything.The bay also shows Gatsby’s attempt to live by the American Dream failed because of the water. The fact is that the time was lost, both Daisy and Gatsby’s lives were too different to ever successfully be together. The water that fills the bay and lies between Gatsby’s home and Daisy’s, represents the last 5 years they have been separated for. Another part where the water appears, is when Gatsby and Daisy reunite and it is pouring down with rain. The rain representing all the time they had lost in the past 5 years all coming back at once. When they first see each other its very tense and the rain is pouring down heavily, however as they became more confident with one another the rain eased off. Another moment involving this symbol is when the mist covered the view over to Daisy’s green light across the bay. This is showing the water known as time is blocking any chance of hope for Gatsby and Daisy. The idea that water represents helps me to understand Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship has been heavily affected by the time they have loss. The pass has been and gone and the future is the only thing remaining for them. But as Gatsby surrounds himself in the past he doesn’t move onto the future. At the end of the book it describes Gatsby dyeing in his pool. He fell into the water realising who he was without his fake identity.

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