Alec Rizzo A-1 3/14/12 Symbolic Hope in The Great Gatsby Hope is a very strong force for humans. A little bit of hope can go along way when a person is trying to achieve something out of their reach. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Gatsby was reaching for something nearly impossible, however he never get up, and this was shown through the symbols in the book. The Green Light, Gatsby’s money, and the character Nick are all symbols that show Gatsby’s hope that he can win Daisy back. Fitzgerald uses symbols in The Great Gatsby to give Gatsby hope to get back with Daisy.
The tense changes throughout this chapter, from present tense to Nicks narration, the reason why Fitzgerald jumps from different tenses is to characterize Gatsby, we learn more about the eponymous character of the novel. Nick is quite critical of Gatsby’s less lavish past he describes it as ‘vast, vulgar an meretricious beauty’ Fitzgerald refers to the green light again and it symbolizes Gatsby's hopes and dreams of meeting the idealistic Daisy that he remembers falling in love with 5 years ago. However, the green light disappears when Gatsby begins to realize that she is not the perfect woman that he met before. In Chapter 6, Gatsby says “And she doesn’t understand. She used to be able to understand.
She always acts bored with life and like everything is a pain, she seems to do everything for show. Directly across the water from Daisy is locater Gatsby's huge and ostentatious house. Gatsby purposefully picked this spot because he centers his life around Daisy. Everything he does is in an effort to impress her, get closer to her, or attract her attention. He is very much in love with her and has been for a long time.
He had an enormous body with toned muscles and he knew he was a stronger man than others like Nick. “That’s what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of a –‘(Fitzgerald: 1950, 17). Mr. Buchanan is married to Daisy but at the same time is having an affair with a lady named Myrtle Wilson who is also married. As the story goes on, Tom finds out that his wife is having an affair with Gatsby and gets outraged. Tom does not like the fact that his wife might leave him and starts to compete against Gatsby for the love of Daisy.
He has everything a person could want, yet he is still unhappy, because the one woman he wants is the one woman he can’t have. Gatsby can’t look forward and move on with his life because he can’t let go of his past. He spends his whole life pining for Daisy. He got a house across the water from hers just so he could watch her light on the dock. He made himself a rich man of high social standing, all for the sole purpose of trying desperately to win her back.
Throughout the book, Gatsby’s personality and actions can be represented and paralleled by things in the modern world, such as social media. The primary symbol of Gatsby’s misguided effort to achieve happiness is his fixation on the green light. To Gatsby, the green light represents his nostalgic obsession of the love he and Daisy once shared. One example is when Fitzgerald writes, “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light” (21).
Gatsby’s False Optimism Throughout history, people all over the world have come to America, or “The Land of Opportunity”, in order to accomplish their dreams of success. This idea of the “American Dream” is a concept followed by many in an attempt to start a new and better life. Attempting to fulfill his dreams, Jay Gatsby is manipulated by his own fabricated optimism and beliefs in altering the past for his own personal gains. Early in his life, James Gatz makes an effort to change his lifestyle completely from a farmer’s son to an extravagant and wealthy businessman. As a seventeen year old boy, James Gatz, who later becomes Jay Gatsby, finds an opportunity for change.
The green light at the end of Daisy's dock represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. Daisy and Tom’s marriage is proof of the fall of the American dream. Even though they belong to the West Egg social group and have a lot of wealth, they are unhappy. Tom and Daisy are both unsatisfied with life and are searching for something better. For example, Tom cheats on Daisy with Myrtle.
Gatsby is a very sentimental man; it’s shown though his name. If Gatsby didn’t want to keep a part of his old identity he would of completely invented a new identity, but instead Gatsby just changes his name from James Gatz to jay Gatsby the names are roughly the same. However the main part of how Gatsby is sentimental is how he wont let go of his past with daisy. Gatsby is determined to rekindle his love with daisy just how it was before “‘cant repeat the past? He cried incredulously.
The American Dream all the characters are chasing is ruined by reality of life. Gatsby dream involves him falling in love with Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby feared that Daisy did not wait for him because he was not rich. That’s why Gatsby did crime to get rich. Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan.