Gastby Essay

Submitted By owenelizabeth
Words: 1344
Pages: 6

The Belief That Green Will Get You There

Green means go. To move or proceed forward and to progress. Throughout life, when someone hits a bump in the road generally the best thing to do is move forward and to get over it. However, unlike ordinary life, the meaning of green is interpreted differently in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby. Here, the color green is evident throughout the entire novel. With the use of enchanting and mystifying language green is intertwined into Gatsby’s life and embodies his objective to win Daisy over. It is represented in many instances, however the most significant being the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. This light symbolizes all of Gatsby’s hopes and dreams. It represents everything that haunts and entices him whether it is the gap between the past and the present with the promises of the future, his relationship with Daisy, or the powerful lure of the wafer-thin leafy colored paper we call money. Throughout Gatsby’s life he has always aspired a goal, whether that would be in the past, the present, or for the future. For the duration of the novel Gatsby aims to recover the past so he can enhance the present to make the future what he desires all this time. He believes that he can accomplish this as he says to Nick, “Can’t repeat the past?...Why of course you can!” (Fitzgerald 110). Here Gatsby clearly thinks that the present can mirror the past, however in reality not one moment can ever be repeated in exact detail. Moreover, is his “past” is his idea of Daisy what he really thinks it was or just some idea in his head? Nick begins to pick up on this and after there discussion on page 110, further down he relates, “He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.” (110). It becomes more obvious what he dreams to have, but then after the thought Nick continues, “His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was.” (110). Here, it becomes less obvious what Gatsby has in mind, however the reader still knows that is it and always will be Daisy and the “single green light, minute and far away, at the end of a dock” (21). Into the present, once Gatsby and Nick become more than acquaintances, Daisy shows up more frequently. After their first meeting Nick looks back at Gatsby and sees, “that the expression of bewilderment has come back into Gatsby’s face…to the quality of his present happiness” (95). Due to his increased happiness at the sight of Daisy, Gatsby finds more hope in seeking her final approval. He continues to “believe in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” (180), however “glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was at present a penniless young man without a past” (149). This objective that Gatsby has reflects over the entire novel with the use of the “green light” that continues to motivate him, after all it is all he has. Fitzgerald describes him as a “penniless young man” despite his rich fortune; emotionally he fails to develop which is why he is a man “without a past”. This is strikingly significant to the novel because though Gatsby has the money, he has nothing else, which has quite literally cost him in the game of life. Furthermore, leaving him only dreams and the “green light” to guide him. As the “green light” continues to motivate Gatsby, it is not the only thing green in his life. The Sound, which is the lake, is also green and Nick describes it to be “a fresh, green breast of the new world,” where the “greatest of all human dreams,” lay and in its presence it “compelled an aesthetic contemplation he (Gatsby) neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder” (180). As powerful as this quote is, it also