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Great Gatsby Essay Example: Symbols In Life And The Novel

Writing an essay on The Great Gatsby is a fascinating task as this novel offers a wide range of interesting topics to explore. The most popular of them is symbolism as the story has some very interesting symbols as well as ideas on their role in life. The following example will provide you with inspiration and some interesting ideas for The Great Gatsby essay on symbolism that will stand out:

Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is full of symbols, which play a very important part in the story. Understanding them is essential for both understanding the story itself and deciphering the message the author sends to the audience. The most important of these symbols are the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg and the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. Both of them embody some form of the dream for the future, though the meaning of the eyes is more fluid.

The special thing about the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes is that the author uses this symbol to highlight that understanding of the symbolism comes through the eyes of the observer. Like beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so does the meaning of a symbol, which differs based on the person’s individual perception. In the novel, George Wilson calls them the eyes of God, which dictate the moral imperative for his actions. It is also noted that the eyes make the observers feel as if they are being scrutinized. This also interferes with a clear perception of the symbol. It is vital to consider what each of the characters thinks about the symbol in order to understand its role in the story.

The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock is less ambiguous as a symbol. Aside from being an actual light, it carries the meaning of dreams for the perfect future harbored by the protagonist. For Gatsby, it becomes an embodiment of his utmost desires. Like he lifesaving light in the night, this symbol steers him on the road towards making his dreams come true.

Each of the symbols in The Great Gatsby has more than one layer of meaning. The objects and images have value on their own, but the characters’ perceptions infuse them with different emotions and associations. The green light and the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are the most important images for understanding the story, but the reader must consider their symbolic meaning on the general and personal scale to see their true value and effect on every character.