"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." - Nick Carraway's father - The Great Gatsby.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Green Light

In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the green light that rests at the dock of East Egg near Daisy Buchanan's house is one of the most prominent symbols in the book. The green light is presented to the reader in first chapter of the book; at first, the reader is unsure why Nick Carraway's neighbor Jay Gatsby seems to be reaching toward the green light at the opposite side of the body of water. As the book progresses, it is made known that the green light lies on at the dock of East Egg, which is where Daisy Buchanan lives. Gatsby actually lives directly across the water from her house. He shows sentimentalism in the way that he is very hopeful that he and Daisy will be together one day, and that he is keeping his hope alive by going out to see the green light near her house every night. The green light is literally just a marker for boats to see from the water at night as to know where East Egg begins, but in an analytical sense, the green light in the novel represents one of the most important symbols in The Great Gatsby.

The green light that is placed at the end of the East Egg dock near Daisy's house is barely visible from Gatsby’s home in West Egg, but he continues to go out to see the light, and even reach for the hardly visible light. The green light represents Jay Gatsby’s optimism for the future and his dreams to be with Daisy again. The light symbolizes something that will guide Gatsby to Daisy and his dreams, even in the dark, which symbolizes his doubt and nervousness about the future. Jay Gatsby’s longing and persistance to gain back Daisy's love is hugely connected with the theme of the American Dream in the novel, as well. Thus, the green light also symbolizes the typical American's journey to find the American Dream. The green light is a major symbolic piece in The Great Gatsby, representing hope, dreams, help, and the American Dream.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 1." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010. .
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 4." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010. .


  1. Another very good post. Keep up the great work! 75/75

    Ms. Donahue