Great Symbolism Essay

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The Great Symbols Symbolism can be and is used in numerous novels. In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses symbolism to express how the setting and environment reflects and foreshadows a character’s actions throughout the novel. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism such as the valley of the ashes, the eyes of T.J. Ekleburg, and the weather elucidate Gatsby’s pursuit of the American dream, and his failure in obtaining it. The valley of the ashes is a gray, barren, desolate “fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens”(pg 23) located between West Egg and New York City. The valley of the ashes represents the moral and social decay that results from unreached pursuit of wealth. George and Myrtle Wilson live on this land, and they represent the difficulties of the poor. The results of unreached goals is what is reflected when one thinks of this horrid place. It is dusty, clogging up car engines, perhaps also representing the numerous regrets of not reaching personal and financial goals. The valley of the ashes connects with Gatsby’s failure in obtaining the American Dream because it is obviously is the root of a lack of success. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are fading eyes on a billboard looking over the valley of the ashes. They represent God’s omniscience and overwhelming ability to see all corruption in the world. Throughout the novel, Tom and Myrtle have an affair although they are married, therefore committing adultery. One night, Myrtle runs into the street and is hit by a car, “It’s driver hurried back to where Myrtle Wilson, her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust.”(pg 137) The way she was hit left her in a prayer position facing the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg on the billboard, as if she is forced to pay for repentance for her sins. Obtaining the American

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