What Does The Shirts Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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Many authors use symbolism in their books to really express themes of the novel. When symbolism is used, the reader is able to connect to the story. Scott F. Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby, became a best seller because of the symbolism used to express the theme throughout the novel. Many people think of the American Dream as being free and everything is is good. However, there is a dark side about it. Without this symbolism, the theme of the dying American Dream, the book would have never gotten to where it is today. This theme is what really made up the book. Some of the most obvious examples of the theme, in the novel are the green light, Gatsby's shirts, and the Valley of Ashes. Firstly, the green light is an example of the theme. …show more content…
Gatsby came to the conclusion that order to impress Daisy, he must have money. So, he decided to dedicate his whole life to becoming rich and popular. He becomes very materialistic. If he didn't not have many material items, he probably would not know what to do with himself. When a Daisy comes to Gatsby's house, Gatsby just goes crazy. He shows her his bedroom and becomes so excited that he took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them all around. "He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray" (Fitzgerald 83). Daisy begins to cry and says they are the most beautiful shirts she has ever seen. This shows how people can become very materialistic and it just shows how the American Dream has changed from living a happy life with your family, to owning the most expensive items. The shirts symbolize how great Gatsby feels about being rich. He is willing to do anything to get the money for Daisy. Gatsby is so messed up because of his by his love for being rich, that he does not see anything else and is very vulnerable to the rest of the world. Lastly, an example of the dying American Dream is the Valley of Ashes. This is the "no man's land" after World War 1. Everything in this area is kind of dead. It is described as, "a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air" (Fitzgerald 26). This wasteland shows how messed up America is and how being rich and materialistic does not always lead to happy endings. The Valley of Ashes turns to be the end of Gatsby's dream. This symbolizes Gatsby's dreams