Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay
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Remember, symbols do not always have the same meaning or interpretation, so a particular symbol's significance varies depending on context between different works, or even within the same work. A symbol occurs once or a few times, but a motif runs through the whole work.We teach you all the literary devices you must know, the literary elements that appear in every story and first/second/third person POV here.If you're analyzing poetry (or Shakespeare), you'll also want to check out our articles on iambic pentameter and assonance.Authors also use symbolism to tie certain things that may initially seem unimportant to overarching themes, or to connect disparate objects or places to unify a work—all without having to be didactic or moralizing.For example, in The Great Gatsby, the symbol of the valley of ashes connects West and East Egg to the industrial poverty that the rich Long Islanders would rather simply ignore.So feel free to interpret these universally meaningful symbols in any work you come across!Here are some examples: Most of your assignments will ask you to analyze a symbol and explore its significance in the novel. There are two different types of essay you can build.One good way to do this is to use an online, searchable version of the text here (like this one or this one), and search for keywords associated with your symbol.Remember to first read the book all the way through to know what you're looking for, and to try several versions of your keyword when searching.Those same themes are also connected to one of the novel's many motifs—Gatsby's verbal tic of calling everyone "old sport." This phrase isn't a symbol, but its oddness point to the not-quite-successful way Gatsby is trying to act like the social elite.That being said, you could always make the case that a particularly resonant instance of a motif is in itself a symbol of some idea!