The Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay Example

“The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold, and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch (Fitzgerald, 9).”

In the book there are a lot of rich characters that become untrustworthy as the story progresses due to what they had bought with their money, and wanting to show off that they have money. Gatsby, Tom,  Daisy, and Nick’s houses are all in the West Egg, and in the book the reader gets a descriptive overview of each one of their houses. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, the use of symbolism, setting, and characters shows that gold is a materialistic thing that often shows beauty through material wealth causing a moral decay in the American society. 

Gold is a color that is a symbol for beauty one can use to make expensive materials. In The Great Gatsby in chapter five, it tells the reader that Gatsby, Daisy and Nick all arrive at Gatsby’s apartment. Nick describes Gatsby’s room as “simplest room of all--- except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure gold (Fitzgerald, 91).” Since Gatsby has gotten out of the military, he has begun to get Daisy to be his lover. This event shows that Gatsby is going behind Tom's back and tries to win Tom’s wife over through material gold wealth, and is beginning to cause a problem that Daisy becomes unloyal to Tom.

Later in the story, Tom and Daisy show up to one of Gatsby’s parties, and Tom asked to go to eat at another table, Daisy then tells her husband “if you want to take down any addresses here’s my gold pencil (Fitzgerald, 113).” Daisy gives Tom the pencil so that she can get some alone time with Gatsby. When Tom leaves Daisy then goes off with Gatsby for thirty minutes, and they have an affair. Daisy is being unloyal to her vows with Tom. Gold items show wealth and can cause unloyal actions to lead to a decay in morals. 

Material wealth shown through the color gold has a major impact on a moral decrease of the American society. One material, rich sentence the reader comes upon is “a hundred pairs of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust (Fitzgerald, 161).” this symbolizes that the shoes are of high quality materials and expensive.

Gold is expensive and lots of people want it, but it makes the morals of Americans decay when people show off that there is that wealth around. Another example is when they open all the windows in the house and the light “fills the house with grey turning, gold turning light (Fitzgerald, 162).” This event symbolizes that when the windows are open the sunlight from outside reflects off the silver and gold things in the house. Fitzgerald uses the characters, setting, and symbolism of gold throughout the book to show that golds has beauty, and material wealth.

Golds beauty as a color is symbolic through material wealth in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby,  through symbolism, setting, and characters which help us to see moral decay of the American society. Moral decay in the American society would not be a problem if we would all just stay humble, and not care about being rich or popular. The theme of moral decay is relevant throughout the whole book, but the color gold makes the decay stand out through the characters, setting and symbolism that Fitzgerald uses.



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