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What is a good thesis statement for the use of symbolism and motifs in relation to the...

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mizfunsize | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 7, 2010 at 9:21 AM via web

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What is a good thesis statement for the use of symbolism and motifs in relation to the American Dream in The Great Gatsby?

I need to write an essay of how F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the devices of symbolism and motifs throughout the novel The Great Gatsby to connect symbols and motifs with the theme the American Dream.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 8, 2010 at 12:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Fitzgerald connects symbolism and motif to the idea of the American Dream by using them to demonstrate what he saw as the perversion and loss of the true American Dream. Originally the American Dream was centered on the ideological: discovery of self and opportunity; individualism instead of recognition by rigid class definition; the "pursuit of happiness" as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. Fitzgerald uses symbols and motifs to tie decadence, decay, immorality and greed to the aspirations of Americans like Daisy, Tom, Baker and Gatsby, whom Daisy's greed has corrupted to the point of pursuing criminal activity that he might attain the things that will attract her and lure her to him.

A thesis for this might be something like: "Fitzgerald uses symbols and motifs such as The Valley of Ashes and weather to show that America had materialized its original Dream of high ideals such as individualism and happiness."

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM (Answer #2)

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Well... it does help to know what symbols and motifs you intend to write about in order to craft a thesis that will work, so I will suggest a couple of ideas and recommend you check out the study guide for some ideas.

Here is a sample

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby intentionally uses the symbols or motifs of ___________,______________ and _____________ to demonstrate man's struggle in the quest to fulfill dreams.

Simpler:

The Great Gatsby effectively portrays the literary technique of the symbol in many ways.

Good luck... if I knew more I could create a more accurate thesis for you.

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