Both Fitzgerald and Gatsby vowed early in life to be successful and prosperous. The underlining symbolism in The Great Gatsby is well presented and can be analyzed through deeper literal examination of quotes such as (pg. 16) “I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone – he stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.
When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness. ” This chapter therefore comes to an end with the symbol of the green light that is mysterious. The reader’s first knowledge of the green light is depicted when Gatsby tries to reach out towards it, like he is worshipping it. As we progress, we discover that the green light is at the end of Daisy’s dock and is a symbol of Gatsby dream and hope for the future. On page 115, Fitzgerald proceeds to compare Gatsby green light to the green beast of the world.
This demonstrates that even though Daisy is a symbol of power and wealth, there are underlying evil aspects that surround the beauty and comfort and envisaged by Gatsby. The word time appears 450 times in the novel either by itself or in a compound word. Fitzgerald obviously wanted to emphasize the importance of time to the overall design of the book. Time is most important to Gatsby’s character. Gatsby’s relationship with time is a major aspect to the plot.
He wants to erase five years from not only his own life but also Daisy’s. Gatsby’s response to Nick, telling him that he can repeat the past, is symbolic of the tragic irony that is behind Gatsby’s fate. Gatsby exclaims (pg. 116), “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can! ” Gatsby cannot accept Daisy until she erases the last three years of her life by telling Tom that she never loved him to his face. Gatsby fully believes what he says and thinks or desperately hopes, that is true about Daisy.
At one part of the story he actually tells Nick how, as soon as Tom is out of the picture, he and Daisy were going to go to Memphis so they could get married at her white house just like it were five years before hand. In another scene, when Gatsby and Nick go to the Buchanan’s’ for lunch towards the end of the book, Gatsby sees Daisy’s and Tom’s child for the first time. Nick describes Gatsby’s expression as a natural surprise and suggests that Gatsby probably never before believed in the girl’s existence.
Gatsby is so caught up in his dream that he becomes vulnerable to the world’s brutal reality. Daisy like so is characterized as a symbol of wealth and power; Fitzgerald distinctively creates a time symbolism in the scene when Daisy and Gatsby meet for the first time in five years. As Nick enters the room where Daisy and Gatsby have just met, Gatsby is leaning nervously against the mantelpiece while resting his head upon the clock on the mantle. At an awkward pause in the conversation, the clock starts to tip as if to fall off the mantle.
Gatsby dramatically catches the clock before it falls and all three characters are speechless, stricken with a strange awe of the precious clock. Nick, narrates, “I think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor. ” The clock was symbolizing time and Gatsby’s head resting on it was all the pressure that Gatsby was putting on time. Time could not support the demands that Gatsby was making. Gatsby gingerly catching the clock and his resultant apology symbolizes the sensitivity of his plan and how necessarily delicate his methods were.
The main theme of Scott F. Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby is the demonstration of how America’s culture of material wealth and sophistication desire has gone beyond the complete search for comfort in life to levels of worship. This ends up in harmful consequences outlined by the flaws in life. Fitzgerald used not only himself but also people he met and knew. Fitzgerald’s message in writing The Great Gatsby was the life of the “Jazz Age”. And the book tells about riches and glamour, as well as the materialism and the lack of morality of the Jazz Age.