updated 3 months ago

What does the green light represent in The Great Gatsby? Provide meaningful explanations of its symbols. Include examples from the book.

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1 Answer
updated 3 months ago

The green light at the end of Daisy's dock represents life and hope for Gatsby who keep staring at it across the blue bay. When Gatsby stretches his arms out at the green light, it signifies an elusive object and a dream that he wants to grasp. Nick sees Gatsby on a star lit night as Gatsby walks out on the lawn and peers at the horizon, stretching his arms to grasp something. Nick only sees “a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock” (Chapter 1: 151). The light representing Daisy is separated by a wide blue bay, and the long distance makes the light more alluring.

The light at the end of the dock creates a visual interpretation that Gatsby looks at the dock as the bridge to reach Daisy. The dim light in the far distance that is never turned off indicates that a continued hope and dream. Later when Daisy is reunited with Gatsby, the light appears to come very close to them and it is almost touching her, and the "colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever” (Chapter 5: 117). The green light is the symbol of the American Dream that drives millions of Americans. Not everyone achieves the dream though many try to reach the objective. To Gatsby, a millionaire, it represents love that is missing from his life. Interestingly, after Gatsby is killed, Nick moves out to his native place, he has parted with Daisy, and the green light only remains in his memory.