A symbol is an object or place used to represent an abstract idea or quality. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald there are many such symbols. F. Scott Fitzgerald incorporates each symbol into the plot and structure of the novel. His use of symbolism helps give the reader a better meaning and understanding of the story. The themes of The Great Gatsby are revealed through its use of symbols. Among the most important of the many symbols used in the novel are the green light, the contrast between East Egg and the West Egg, the valley of ashes, and the giant oculist sign.
The green light lights up across the bay from Gatsby’s place. This light burned at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock. For Gatsby, this
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The contrast between East Egg and West Egg are represented through the dissimilarities of the lifestyles and attitudes of society. The west represents the idealistic viewpoints and the simplicity of life. The east represents the corruption of the wealth and the extravagant wastefulness of society. Tom, Daisy, and Jordan all live in East Egg. They represent the established rich. Gatsby, and Nick live in West Egg. They represent the nouveaux rich. The established rich spend their money without caring about a thing. An example of this is when Tom Buchanan rented out a hotel room just so he could drink on a hot day with his friends in the city. Another example of their lack of morals or lack of caring is when Jordan is driving with Nick and Jordan said that everyone should watch out for her. The West Egg represents the vulgarity of society. An example of this is Gatsby’s enormous parties that he throws every two weeks. Most people that lived in the west had to work for a living. Tom Buchanan saw them as socially inferior to himself. He believed that he is better than everyone else is. Gatsby was not born rich so he had live in West Egg. He was looked down upon by Tom. This is why Tom saw Gatsby as no threat to him and Daisy.
The valley of ashes symbolized the desolation of life. This area is where all the business failures ended up. The valley of ashes