Symbolism in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay Topic:

The tragedy of the symbolism of F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby .

Essay Questions:

What is the depth of the symbol of The Eyes of Doctor?

What did become the symbol of Nicks hope that one day he will get closer to Daisy and to be back together with his beloved woman?

What role does the industrial ash play for the whole symbolism of the novel?

Thesis Statement:

The symbolism of The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, the Green Light and the Valley of Ashes are essential for the message of F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby.


Introduction: It is common knowledge that very often the author shares his message with the reader with the help of certain symbols. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is not an exception. One of the brightest symbolic aspects of the book is the symbol of The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. This symbol is seen on an advertisement in the Valley of Ashes.  And these eyes are the “judges” who look at all the “dirty plays” and condemn the actions of those people. These eyes seem to understand that no change will occur and it will get only worse. People will pass by these blaming eyes, maybe feel the glace but will never do anything to change their lives or behavior. The eyes suggest the meanness of the little people with their “shallow” way of thinking.

Another symbol of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is the Green Light. It is the green light at Daisy’s dock Jay Gatsby stares at for five years hoping one day to get closer to her and to be back together with his beloved woman. This light is nothing more but the hope for the bright future they will have together; it is Gatsby’s personal dream and at the same time it is the American dream of everyone. It is owing to this light Gatsby achieves his aim and becomes rich. He thinks that wealth is just a step towards a happy future with Daisy. The green light inspires him but he never reaches it.

The last but not the least symbol of the novel “The Great Gatsby” is the Valley of Ashes.  The Valley of Ashes is a territory located between New York City and the West Egg covered all over with industrial ash. This symbol is about one of the brightest of the book as it shows how the newly industrial life of the wealth results in the contamination. These ashes are a parallel to the moral degradation of the society. It shows that the way of life they pursue leaves “waste products” such as deception, cheating and social, marital and personal infidelity. The Valley of the Ashes is a place where poor people live and suffer because of the “whims” of the rich.

Conclusion: All of the symbols listed above are crucial for the message which is delivered in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as they reveal how people in their wealth lose the real meaning of life which is devotion for the loved ones and the desire to make them happy and not destroying other people lives. The people depicted in the novel are actually superficial and care only about themselves and what they want at the moment not thinking about the consequences. They actually try to “buy” what they see as they can afford it.


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