The following is a literature review of the book The Great Gatsby. The paper will analyze the symbolic technique Fitzgerald used in coming up with the novel. The essay will demonstrate a brief thesis of what the colors symbolized both to the reader and the characters in the book. In this paper we will choose one color for illustrations from the various colors used as symbols in Fitzgerald’s story that is mostly about love, money and success. The paper will discuss the color green and give direct quotes with explanatory sentences of the color green.
The color green is mostly related to the nature, whereby in relation with the western culture it represents the spring, youth, hope and confidence. The color green is used a lot in the novel to symbolize Gatsby character in terms of his dream which is to win Daisy’s heart back and hope of getting money. Gatsby has everything in the world except her love Daisy therefore green stands for his undying hope to win Daisy’s heart whereby the green light is closely related with Daisy whereas it is at her dock. The green light appears to be burning in the novel three times.
From start to end of the novel the green light acts a major symbol. The green light is observed first when Nick notices Gatsby stretching his hands towards the water, Gatsby statesinvoluntarily I glanced seaward- and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock (Fitzgerald 2013, p.169) here the narrator and Gatsby come to a realization that the statementfar away meant that his dreamed was not assured and might fail. The green light seems to be what kept Gatsby burning desire to win Daisy’s heart whereby he utters to heryou always have a green light that burn at night at the end of your dock (226) and doesn’t seem to be ever giving up on his hope to win Daisy’s heart becauseGatsby believed in the green light (152). Gatsby seems to be realizing his dream but is still confused with the real and imaginary Daisy. In relation to the American dream, green symbolizes that it is beautiful and appealing in imagination but very weak in reality.
Death is the end of a man’s life and especially faith which is buried with him. Gatsby hope was dead when he died even though during his burial people held green lighting lamps to show fait, whereby the American dream which is symbolized with the green is still lighting up with hope.Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And one fine morning (pp 296) this make the green light a representation of the undying fight for our future dreams and coming of a new hope.
A society that is filled with greedy, jealous and corrupt humans makes everything to be materialistic. Gatsby however tries to pursue his dreams trying to assume the obstacles the society held before him to win Daisy’s heart but ends up not fulfilling his dreams. These makes green a major symbol in this novel as it makes it more complete and cuts deep within the reader’s interpretation.
Fitzgerald, F. S. (2013). The Great Gatsby. Wuhan, China: Wuhan Publishing House.
Hoffman, D. (1979). The Harvard guide to contemporary American literature (pp.118-206). Cambridge: Havard University Press.
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