The story of The Great Gatsby is a very symbolic piece of literature. This book, written in the 1920s, was a symbol of the time. The Great Gatsby outlines the newly acclaimed riches, the fads, and technology that had been introduced in the modernized 1920s. Fitzgerald uses characterization and symbolism to display materialism versus the American dream. The characters of Gatsby and Tom outline this idea of old money and new money.
In the story of The Great Gatsby, Tom is portrayed as an open book. The reader learns how he is an arrogant, malicious man, that loves to flaunt his money just because he can. It is made clear that Tom is having an affair with Myrtle, along with the fact that Daisy knows it. Fitzgerald makes Tom a symbol of new money. Being born rich makes Tom arrogant. Adding to the fact that Tom never holds any morals and never treats anyone how he wants to be treated. This is shown by Fitzgerald’s display of materialism. Tom does everything and anything he wants. He buys whatever he wants to buy, and does whatever he wants to do. That is what makes him happy. This means that Tom without his money would be a train wreck. Tom uses his old money as a wall. He uses his money to give people a picture of a strong, tough man. For example, in chapter 2 when Mrs. Wilson continues to say Daisy’s name, Tom gets so mad that he breaks Mrs. Wilson’s nose because he does not believe that Mrs. Wilson has any right to mention Daisy's name. If Tom did not have the wealth that he inherited, he would not have punched Mrs. Wilson because he would’ve had nothing to give him strength. But, as Gatsby falls more and more in love with Daisy, Tom realizes that he wants Daisy to be his person and he wants to do anything and everything to make sure that Gatsby doesn't take Daisy away from him.
The Great Jay Gatsby is a character who was originally a mystery to all. Gatsby grew up in an impoverished home in North Dakota. Gatsby gained so much wealth, and nobody really knew how. This added to the character of Gatsby. Nick had served with Gatsby in the war but did not normally talk with him or converse with him. When Nick gets invited to one of Gatsby's extravagant parties, the reader begins to see part of who Gatsby is. As the story progresses, the reader learns about how Gatsby is still just a normal person. Gatsby has achieved everything he wants in life. He can do and buy anything he wants, but he realizes that with Daisy, he cannot do the same thing. Everything in Gatsby's life has been an attempt to try and win back Daisy. Gatsby wanted to become rich so that he could be the man that she wanted. We learn how all these extravagant parties are for Daisy. At the end of chapter 1, Nick sees Gatsby at the edge of a lake. “Involuntarily, I glanced seaward and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away”. This green light that Gatsby sees across the bay symbolizes the dream that Gatsby has of being with Daisy. The color green in this book symbolizes growth and Gatsby sees this green light across the bay as hope that one day he will eventually achieve this dream.
Tom and Gatsby are two very different characters. Tom represents an arrogant bully, that uses solely his money to get what he wants. Gatsby is shown as a man who is extremely optimistic man that always tries to turn his dreams into reality.
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“The Great Gatsby” was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and was published in 1925. The story focuses around a man named Jay Gatsby who aspires to achieve a position among the rich to win the heart of his true love, Daisy Buchanan. However, this corrupt …Read more
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