The novel Great Gatsby is a novel about a self-made man; a man who lived the American Dream, but whose money and wealth never made him truly happy. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the well-known author of the novel, filled it with numerous symbols, some of each have a clear meaning, and some have a hidden one. One of the first symbols we encounter after starting to read the famous “Great Gatsby” is Gatsby’s books. Gatsby, an awfully rich man has an impressive library in his possession. During one of the parties, the guest discovers that the books’ pages are uncut. Books used to be printed with their pages uncut, so it was clear as day that Gatsby never read his books. This fact represents the idea that everything about Gatsby’s life is unclear. He has created an illusion; however he is not consistent with the facts of his life story. Rumors have spread about him, but nobody knows what his true identity is. He wants people to think that he has received Oxford education, that he is very literate, but the truth is that he had only spent there a couple of months after the war. Mysterious Gatsby resembles one of his unopened, unread books.
Another vivid symbol is the Valley of Ashes and the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, depicted on the billboard. It represents the loss of spiritual values at the times when consumerism took over the US. Those eyes stare at the people who gave up their spiritual needs and neglected their morals in the pursuit of material wealth. Those eyes see everything. They stare at the main heroes as they pass under the billboard on their way to New York to commit adultery, drink and attend numerous parties. At one point in the novel, the optician’s eyes are compared to the eyes of God.
The most memorable symbol though, is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, which represents Gatsby’s love for Daisy. The light is dim and impossible to reach, just like it is impossible to reach the materialistic American Dream. Gatsby is guided by green light, he builds the house across from it to see it every day and to remember of his final goal – be together with Daisy. All the parties are thrown for her with the thought that they might attract her attention. Five years ago, when they both fell in love, Gatsby could not give Daisy the life she deserved. Now, when he is wealthy and respected, he comes back to win over her heart again, but her feelings are not that strong anymore. Daisy remains unreachable to Gatsby, just like the green light at the end of her dock.