Gatsby Essay

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Tanner Vinson Carroll English Comp. II 28 May 2010 Symbolism in “The Great Gatsby” In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” we see the use of symbolism at its finest. Although the symbolism in this novel can be seen physically through the character’s eyes, the symbolism must be further analyzed to understand its significance in the story. The list of symbols in this novel is relatively lengthy, but among the most important are East and West Egg, the green light, and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg gazing over the valley of ashes. The conflict of interacting social classes is seen through the symbolism of East and West Egg. We learn early in the story about the two islands called East and West Egg. Nick, the narrator we see the story through, lives in West Egg next to Mr. Gatsby. West egg, “The less fashionable of the two,” (5) according to Nick, is not less fashionable at all. What he means is that West Egg is where the newly rich people or the “new money” live. Nick has a cousin Daisy who is married to Tom Buchanan, a man he went to college with. They live in East Egg, the people that have had their wealth and fortune or “old money.” Characters like Nick and Gatsby that represent the West Egg show that they value the pleasure of life, while Daisy and Tom, who represent the East Egg, are careless toward anyone or anything except money. Gatsby dreams to be reacquainted with Daisy so they can fall in love again. He finds that his fortune that he had always dreamt of having was not enough to have Daisy because he cared about more than money and she did not. The conflict between the two suggests that social class will always be a barrier; that Gatsby could never have Daisy because money was not instilled in his blood. Not long after East and West Egg are discovered, the ever important green light is seen. “Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished

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