Using direct quotes and page numbers, what are some examples of how the motif of "light" is described in The Great Gatsby.

Expert Answers
stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fitzgerald used light to symbolize or indicate emotions and situations frequently throughout The Great Gatsby. Picking up on those insights can add to the depth of understanding of the characters and the actions being portrayed.

Early in the first chapter, Nick enters the Buchanan mansion for the first time. He and Tom enter the room in which Daisy and Jordan are lounging - "a bright rosy-colored space." (page 8 in my edition) Daisy looked at the world through rose-colored glasses in the sense of always seeing the beautiful and pleasing, regardless of what was actually there.

Describing Gatsby's party scene at the beginning of chapter three, Fitzgerald uses descriptions of light to help the reader picture the goings-on.

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun...sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. (page 40 in my edition)

As Gatsby floated in his pool at the end of chapter eight, he was lost in his thoughts and realizations.

He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees. (page 162)

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question