The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
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What is an image or graphic that represents a character in The Great Gatsby? Provide 4–5 additional symbols for the character. Explain the reasoning behind the symbols.

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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What an interesting assignment! You might consider using Jay Gatsby himself. In terms of symbols that are associated with him, one of the first that comes to mind is the green light at the end of Daisy's dock; it can be seen as representative of the American Dream, a fantasy that he can never truly reach though he continues to believe up until his very death. You might also include an image of his car—his big, flashy yellow car—which is representative of his attempts to be like the people who have old money, people like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, as well as his failure to do so. You could include an image of a bottle of alcohol: it represents the way he has made his fortune, by engaging in criminal activity, and it has granted him fortune but will never equal the American Dream.

You might include a picture of his medal that he claims was awarded him by Montenegro, his large and ostentatious mansion, or his shelves of books with uncut pages, as all of these might seem to point to his ability to put on a show, to make himself look like something he is not. You might include a picture of a World War I military uniform, since he was actually in the army. You could include an image of a timepiece, representative of his idealistic belief that one can actually turn back time and repeat the past. There are so many options!

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