18th June 2017

Great Gatsby – symbols

Provide a description (using quotes) of the symbol from the text.

– Explain when and why the symbol appears throughout the text.

– Analyse what the symbol helps you to understand about an important character.

– Make a link between the symbol and the idea of illusion.

-Yellow and Gold

’The orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music.’ , ’twin yellow dresses,’ , ’Jordan’s slender golden arm,’ , “Gatsby, in a white flannel suit ,silver shirt and a gold-coloured tie, ‘ , ‘in a moment disappeared among the yellowing trees.’  The symbol of yellow and gold appears throughout the text because they represent what is real and what is fake. Gold is a pure colour and it is use to represent what is real and authentic  and yellow is a cheap and fake version of the gold and is used to show us what happens to be fake and meaningless. this symbol links to illusion because it exposes whether something real or not when Gatsby was meeting daisy for the fist time in 5 years he was wearing a ‘gold-coloured tie,’ because what he felt for daisy at that moment was truly true and ’Jordan’s slender golden arm,’ compared to the ‘yellow cocktail music.’ And the ’twin yellow dresses,’ which aren’t as appealing or interesting compared to the real thing. 

The Green Light – ’He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way… involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, the might have been the end of the dock.’ – “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay… You always  have a green light that burns at the end of your dock” – ‘Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us.’ The symbol the green light is placed on the Daisy’s dock across the bay on East Egg and the colour green is representation of hope. This symbol comes in and out of the text but is discussed when Nick fist sees Gatsby and the end of chapter 1, Gatsby is standing at the end of his dock reaching towards the green light at the end of a dock across the water, a second time in chapter 4 when Daisy come to one of his parties and he points it out to her. Also and the very end of the novel, it is then nick realises how much Gatsby believed in that minute green light. What this green light helps us understand about Gatsby is that he is driven by hope. He has so much hope that him and daisy will get back together that nothing else matters. Hope is the reason for him throwing all those extravagant parties, in hope that Daisy would come to one. Nick describes the light as ‘minute and far away,’ this being because Gatsby is putting so much into such a far fetch ideal dream of him daisy getting back together but from Gatsby’s point of view he was seem so close that it would have nearly impossible for him not not to be able for him and daisy. The green light rminds Gatsby of Daisy and she herslf is and illusion of new begginigs, love and desire but when really she is the opposite plain and empty.

Water -‘He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way… involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, the might have been the end of the dock.’ – ‘… And one fine morning – So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly.’ Water symbolises time. The time that Daisy and Gatsby have spent apart, the past 5 years and the future it comes throughout the novel to keep reminding us that everything takes time. ‘He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way…’ Gatsby is reaching out towards where daisy lives but what lies between each of them is the sea water representing the past 5 years and the time they have spent apart. ‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly.’ This is the last line in the book that Nick says What is is saying is that no matter what the past is we must carry one move forward for we cant not repeat now change what happened but we can change what will happen. What this symbol shows us about Gatsby is that he wanted daisy back so bad that he wanted to repeat the past and go back to that time in his life. Water creates an illusion that time can be taken back for example when Gatsby and Daisy first meet in Nicks house it was raining and what the rain meant was that it was bring back all the time they spent together it brought back all the feelings and all the memories from the past and it was if the rain had paused time and allowed Daisy and Gatsby to be in their own world for a short amount of time.

 

 

 

 

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