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The Great Gatsby: Symbolism & Themes

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Nikunj Vashi

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby: Symbolism & Themes

The Great Gatsby Symbolism & Themes For Your Viewing Pleasure..... Trailer #1 Trailer #2 "...he [Gatsby] stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way..." " Involuntarily I glanced seaward- and distinguished nothing except a single green light..." The Green Light Chapter 1 The Green Light (cont.) This light symbolizes Gatsby's hopes and dreams for a future with Daisy. This green light can also represent the distance (physically and emotionally) between him and Daisy. The green light is later revealed to be at the end of Daisy Buchanan's dock. The Valley of Ashes "About halfway between West Egg and New York ...from a desolate area of land." "This is a valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens..." Chapter 2 The Valley of Ashes (cont.) Symbolic by showing the major differences of the economic classes. Area that is between the East & West Egg and New York City. Industry has ravaged this area. Doctor T.J. Eckleburg "But his [Doctor T.J. Eckleburg] eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground." "I followed him [Tom] over a low whitewashed railroad fence, and we walked back a hundred yards along the road under Doctor T.J. Eckleburg's persistent stare." Chapter 2 " 'You may fool me, but you can't fool God!'" -George Wilson [As he was staring into the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg] Chapter 8 Doctor T.J. Eckleburg (cont.) In George Wilson's mind, the eyes are that of God's. He sees all corruption. Can also symbolize the decay of the American Dream during this time period. The East Egg
vs.
The West Egg The East
vs.
The Midwest East Egg West Egg The Midwest The East Symbolism of Locations Can be found about right here in Sandy Point, NY. Symbolic of "Old-Money" or inherited wealth. While being a physical location, it also acts as a symbol to which the characters that live within the "eggs" behave. The people here are more condescending than that of the West Egg due to the 'established wealth'. Can be found right about here in King's Point, NY. There is also a Gatsby Lane! Symbolizes "New-Money" or new-found wealth. "I lived at West Egg the- well, less fashionable of the two..." Chapter 1 The people here live a more Carpe Diem lifestyle. Most of the characters originated from the Midwest. The Midwest is less glamorous and less thrilling than the Eastern United States. However, 'pureness' is associated to the Midwest when compared to the East. Compared to the Midwest, the East is more fast-paced. When the characters that previously lived in the Midwest move to the East, they lose their values along the way. Nick, on the other hand, can still distinguish between right and wrong since he recently moves at the beginning of the novel. The East represents the corruption within the novel. Automobiles and Gatsby's Mansion Both can be attributed to the recklessness behavior and the superfluous spending of the 1920's. The mansion, specifically, can be a symbol of Gatsby's love for Daisy. The Mantle Clock "Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers and set it back in place." Chapter 5 This occurs during Gatsby's and Daisy's reunion, so this symbolizes the lost time between the two. http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/350x700px-LL-e4f615c5_greengatsby.jpeg http://25.media.tumblr.com/05dccdb3b2962b81e9a6618220673a19/tumblr_mfecjrXFAD1qbnt5go1_500.jpg http://thefashioneaste.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/gatsby64.png?w=529&h=301 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_OZARYJV4EuM/Sp1j10lk9cI/AAAAAAAADRI/GPOb5rRpKEE/s400/eckleberg.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_y1AaCCgGLDs/TTfLCBtDFPI/AAAAAAAAHtM/81CPsJ882pY/s640/c22a5b4347373d1bffff803efffffff3.JPG http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/309/4/f/dr_tj_eckleburg_by_hasunkhan-d5hwgkj.jpg http://24.media.tumblr.com/a7128e1bb887c8f16510bbc6348237e8/tumblr_mip00nynsH1ru697mo1_500.jpg http://images.hitfix.com/photos/1555958/Jay-Gatsbys-mansion.jpg http://images.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/05/Gatsby-trailer-1.jpg http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/10/01/nyregion/01gatsby-grfk/01gatsby-grfk-popup.jpg https://maps.google.com https://maps.google.com http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/the-great-gatsby-pstr02.jpg http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/the-great-gatsby-pstr04.jpg http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/the-great-gatsby-pstr05.jpg http://www.impawards.com/2013/posters/great_gatsby_ver2_xlg.jpg Symbolism The Great Gatsby in The Great Gatsby in Themes Theme: Hope One evident example is Gatsby's hopes for a future with Daisy. This is why he was seen reaching towards the green light at the end of her dock. Many other instances occur when other characters, like Myrtle, lust for hope with another individual. Paradox Theme: "And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." Chapter 3 -Jordan Baker Paradox: a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true Theme: Corruption of the American Dream Probably the largest and most recurring theme in the novel. The novel occurs in the 1920's which was a very self- centered time period in regards to materialism. The people during this time just wanted to live everyday like it was their last and not work for their dreams Theme: Corruption of the American Dream (cont.) In the novel, adultery is seen between the characters, which was not an 'American value' before then. It was also questioned to how Gatsby rightfully earned his wealth. And then there is Meyer Wolfsheim... The visible decay of America is shown in the Valley of Ashes and through the dilapidated sign of Eckleburg. Theme: Reality vs. Illusion Gatsby creates an illusion in his mind the he and Daisy will be together, but in reality, Daisy has moved on from the past. Gatsby also believes that Daisy only loves him and not Tom; however, Daisy is just in it for the money. Theme: Reality vs. Illusion (cont.) Tom Buchanan also creates an illusion to everyone else that he is 'better' than them. In reality, Tom is just as crooked as everyone else. (Through his adultery and racism) Theme: Possessiveness & Jealousy Theme: Self Discovery Myrtle envies Daisy and would do anything to have Tom to herself. Shown mainly through the narrator, Nick. Nick continues to like Gatsby even though he "represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn". Chapter 1 Nick always questioned the morals of Jordan Baker, so when they broke off their friendship in the end, it revealed his maturing. Tom cheats on Daisy like he doesn't love her, yet when Myrtle says her name, he becomes defensive. http://media.theiapolis.com/d4/hMO/i1SS2/k4/l1T9R/w1HC/tobey-maguire-as-nick-carraway-in-the-great.jpg http://images.contactmusic.com/images/feature-images/the-great-gatsby-600-still-07.jpg http://c1005.r5.cf3.rackcdn.com/2012/08/the-great-gatsby-2012-movie-trailer-0_0.jpg http://media1.santabanta.com/full1/Hollywood%20Movies/The%20Great%20Gatsby/the-great-gatsby-0a.jpg http://static.ibnlive.in.com/pix/slideshow/01-2013/great-gatsby-new/gatsby2-jan5.jpg http://theglobalpanorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Daisy-Buchanan-The-Great-Gatsby.jpeg http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130126063114/thegreatgatsby/images/thumb/4/4a/Tom2.png/250px-Tom2.png http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ojrsbuI6ypg/T3TV6sS4bXI/AAAAAAAAA1o/Oc_VBeRA9SM/s1600/great+gatsby+isla+fisher.jpg
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