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What does the green light symbolize to Gatsby? To Nick?What makes the light so...

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alegnasmoot | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2009 at 12:01 AM via web

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What does the green light symbolize to Gatsby? To Nick?

What makes the light so important to Gatby. Why is it also important to Nick?

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ajacks | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM (Answer #1)

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The green light on the end of Daisy’s dock symbolizes many things to Jay Gatsby. Naturally, it symbolizes Daisy to Gatsby as he stands on his dock looking over the water at it. Since it’s on her property, it shows how close he is to her. When he reaches out his hand towards it as he stands alone on his dock at night he reaches out his hand to it, and the narrator says, “I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it.” Unfortunately for Gatsby, the green light would never be attainable to him.

For Nick the green light represents everything that Gatsby wanted, but could never have. He says at the end, “I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

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