The Green Light
The green light sits at the end of Daisy and Toms dock, directly across the harbour from Gatsbys dock. The light can vividly be seen at night across the water. The green light represents his hope and dreams to be with Daisy again. At the start of Chapter 1 Gatsby is described reaching out to the light as if it is guiding him to Daisy. “…he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling”. The green light then appears in chapter 5 when Gatsby says to Daisy, “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.” The green light is mentioned again to show that Gatsby is now standing there with Daisy actually touching her and he no longer has to worry if there is mist between the light and him or reaching out for it. At the start of the book it represents his hopes and dreams for Daisy but throughout the novel it shows that the green light idea collapses because Gatsby thinks he is able to ignore the last 5 years and Daisys personality and lifestyle. By the end of the novel it becomes an unreachable dream. The green light shows the idea of illusion because when Gatsby reaches for the green light, he cannot reach it because it is too far away. This is the same idea with Daisy he is reaching out for something that is not close enough.
The eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg
The eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg are a pair of eyes located on a fading, old billboard that stands above the Valley Of Ashes. The first time they are introduced is when Nick and other characters pass through the VOA. “above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg”. “The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose”. The eyes symbolise the loss of spiritual values in America. They show the idea of making the most money you can, a mans success is measured on how much money he has, not on what kind of person he is morally. God seems to have abandoned America, leaving only Eckleburg behind to stare down with his empty eyes on people who have left morals to ingest themselves in wealth. The eyes watch the people of America participate in corruptive behaviour. For example when Tom has his affair with Myrtle, when Nick goes to meet Wolfsheim on the way to NY City. The eyes frown down on these characters. He is also referred to god when Wilson finds out about the affair and says to Myrtle “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!”” However, Michaelis tries to point out to him that “It’s just a billboard.” The eyes also suggest the emptiness of the American Dream, the idea of working hard maintaining determination and motivation is all a lie. For the majority of people their hopes for gold are just like ashes. The idea that everyone can live the dream is just a dream. For most, life is the nightmare of the Valley of the Ashes which the Eyes frown down on all day long.
The water symbol in the novel represents time. The Bay which within lies West and East egg is the separation of the two places. No matter how hard anyone decide to try they live in a different place, in different society rankings, they will always live seperate lives. The bay also shows Gatsbys attempt to live by the American Dream failed because of the water. The fact is that the time was lost, both Daisy and Gatsbys lives were too different to ever successfully be together. The water that fills the bay and lies between Gatsbys home and Daisys, represents the last 5 years they have been separated for. Another part where the water appears, is when Gatsby and Daisy reunite and it is pouring down with rain. The rain representing all the time they had lost in the past 5 years all coming back at once. When they first see each other its very tense and the rain is pouring down heavily, however as they became more confident with one another the rain eased off. Another moment involving this symbol is when the mist covered the view over to Daisys green light across the bay. This is showing the water known as time is blocking any chance of hope for Gatsby and Daisy. The idea that water represents helps me to understand Gatsby and Daisys relationship has been heavily affected by the time they have loss. The pass has been and gone and the future is the only thing remaining for them. But as Gatsby surrounds himself in the past he doesn’t move onto the future. At the end of the book it describes Gatsby dyeing in his pool. He fell into the water realising who he was without his fake identity.