Searching for Symbolism -HS
1. The valley of ashes represents a modern world, which, like a grotesque hell created by the industry of factories and trains and has polluted America with its waste. The valley symbolizes a world whose inhabitants are so spiritually lost they, like Myrtle, begin to worship money and wealth. The frontier promise has been corrupted by the lies of greed and the emptiness of a dream based on wealth.
2. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg represent Fitzgerald?s feeling that God and religion had taken a less substantial role in comparison with the gods that wield the powers of wealth, status, and greed. The character has a godly presence associated with him and is confused by Wilson as such. The billboard represents a God who has been created by modern society to make money.
3. Green in the story is the color of promise, of hope, renewal and ultimately the color to which Gatsby will stretch his arms for. He makes the color the embodiment of his dream for the future; to reunite with Daisy is that dream. Through the light he strives for a better world where the longing in his heart for Daisy is fulfilled.
4. The ?owl-eyed? man represents the truth behind a hidden facade for the purpose of material superiority, as was the case with Gatsby and the books in the library. He also symbolized the possibly of world based not on materialism but intellect as he is the only one out of the partygoers to come to Gatsby?s funeral.
5. Gatsby?s boyhood schedule tells the determination that Gatsby has had for all things materialistic but in the end he is destroyed by his materialistic illusions of Daisy, just as the fresh American frontier was converted into the ?valley of ashes? and the green light becomes nothing but a bulb at the end of Daisy?s dock.
6. Daisy’s character is enhanced by Fitzgerald’s use of the color white to indicate Daisy’s freshness and innocence. Fitzgerald evokes two meanings of white: one is the traditional meaning of purity; the second is the empowerment of whiteness. Daisy represents both privilege and purity. The use of white helps to characterize her as the unattainable “enchanted princess” who becomes incarnate as Gatsby’ s dream.
7. Gatsby?s gold colored tie and silver shirt signify the attempt that Gatsby made to show tht he was of the old wealth. But the green apparent in the book contrasts in a significant way. In old times people used gold as a means for exchange, but as a national currency was established green money replaced the gold and gold was no longer backed the dollar. So, gold represents the old money and green represents the new. In the same way, gold symbolizes Daisy and Tom?s old money and green symbolizes Gatsby?s new money. One can arrive to the conclusion to say that Gatsby is “green” and Tom is ?gold?. He wore the gold tie and silver shirt because he wanted to present himself to Daisy as being a part of the old wealth.
8. Gatsby?s dream is the symbolic representation of the views that Fitzgerald holds about the genuine American experience. The corruption of Gatsby?s dream; with materialism as its means and the illusion of promise as its goal, is the corruption of American Idealism, which in turn becomes the empty promise.