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Word Count: 666
The Great Gastby F Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby is rich in symbolism which is portrayed on several different levels in a variety of ways One of the most important qualities of symbolism within this novel is the way in which it is so fully integrated into the plot and structure Some of the symbols are used mostly as tools for characterization such as Wolfsheims cuff links Gatsbys huge library of uncut books and Toms repeated gesture of physically pushing other people around Other symbols such as Gatsbys car symbolizing material wealth in America and its destructfulness have a function in the plot as well as a more abstract significance However the major symbols such as the valley of ashes the green light and the east and west are filled with meanings that go beyond the plot and truly capture Fitzgeralds theme of this novel the corruption of the American dream The corruptive effect of wealth is shown by the conflict between the established rich represented by the East Eggers and the newly rich represented by the West Eggers West Egg is the home of the nouveaux riche of Gatsby and those like him who have made huge fortunes but lack the traditions associated with inherited wealth and are therefore vulgar The East Eggers represented by the Buchanans have the traditions and lack vulgarity but they have been corrupted by the purposelessness and the empty futures their money has provided The downfall of the American promise is also symbolized by the reversal of east and west When the settlers came to the New World America to escape persecution and the corruption of their countries they traveled from east to west However since the ideal has been corrupted people travel from west to east attracted by the wealth and a materialistic life masking the true emptiness of their goal of happiness Daisy Tom Nick Jordan and Gatsby all were westerners and
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