Symbolism is an priceless literary tool that may be employed by writers or dramatists to help in the development of characters or to expose subjects in novels and dramas. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism to a great extent in his text “The Great Gatsby” . as does Tennessee Williams in “The Glass Menagerie” . Assorted symbols appear throughout the several texts that allow the reader to derive insight into character’s personalities and besides add value to major subjects and thoughts in the texts.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is a text that is brooding of the Period in which it was written. the ‘roaring’ mid-twentiess. It was written in America during the mid-1920s. a clip of moral degeneracy and feelings of complacence following the decision of the Great War. On the surface. the text appears to be about love. wealth and power. yet this first feeling does non make justness to the text’s many complexnesss and concealed deepnesss. The text besides explores corruptness. idealism. religion and the semblances of dreams through the usage of a assortment of images and symbols. Chiefly. “The Great Gatsby” trades with the corruptness of the great American Dream. personified by Jay Gatsby. a dreamer purpose on securing the attendings of his long-time love Daisy Buchanan at any cost. The American dream offers faith in the possibility of a better life. The chief theory behind the dreams is the belief that material wealth entirely can convey that dream to fruition. and to this construct. Gatsby was “faithful to the end” .
For American’s the auto symbolises wealth and societal position. Therefore it is suited for Gatsby to have one of the most olympian autos of all time created. The auto is xanthous. a coloring material Fitzgerald uses repeatedly throughout to stand for corruptness and excessive wealth. The usage of the symbolic car can be seen as a presentation of how an ideal based on philistinism entirely can be destructive. This was the fatal auto that kills Myrtle Wilson. a adult female missing in dignity who craves attending and wealth. whose decease indirectly leads to Gatsby’s ain death.
Appearance is another of import factor of Gatsby’s dream. In his pursuit to win Daisy’s bosom Gatsby chooses to have on his best outfit. “…the front door opened nervously and Gatsby in a white flannel suit. Ag shirt and gold coloured tie hurried in” . Fitzgerald uses Ag and gold to symbolize wealth and inordinate ingestion periodically throughout the text. yet the reader gets the feeling that ‘all the glisters is non gold’ . Gatsby’s material ownerships mean nil to him personally. but are symbolic of the adult male he has become. a adult male worthy of the attendings of Daisy. In fact. Gatsby rates his properties “according to the step of response it drew from her [ Daisy’s ] good loved eyes” .
Like Fitzgerald. Williams besides uses coloring material as a symbol to portray cardinal thoughts in his text “The Glass Menagerie” . Written in 1945. the drama itself is set in the mid 30’s. where America is detecting itself. retrieving from recession and nervously expecting war. As Tom Wingfield. the play’s storyteller. depict America at the clip. ” here there was merely hot swing music. and spirits. dance halls. bars and films. and sex that hung in the somberness like a pendant and flooded the universe with brief delusory rainbows. ”
Colour symbolism arises in the construct of “Blue Roses” in “The Glass Menagerie” . Although merely mentioned briefly. the impression of “Blue Roses” is a important key to the chief character of The Glass Menagerie. Laura Wingfield. an insecure. sensitive and graceful immature adult female of 24 old ages. The nickname “Blue Roses” is given to Laura by Jim O’Conner. her first of all time ‘gentleman caller’ when they are in high school together. The name is extremely symbolic of Laura’s character. Laura rejects Jim’s averment. stating that “blue is all incorrect for roses” . yet the description is suiting for her. non merely due to her physical crippling defect but besides her alone personality. “Blue Roses” are besides symbolic of Laura’s physical presence. Although she is humanly seeable. she is frail ( like a rose ) with an ethereal aura that appears about fanciful.
In add-on to the mention to “Blue Roses” . the image of a rainbow is besides used repeatedly in this drama to symbolize the hope of flight and accomplishing one’s dreams. It is extremely symbolic. therefore. that every scene where the rainbow image appears is followed by some black or disconcerting events. For illustration. the pendants at the Paradise Dance Hall across from the Wingfield’s flat create beautiful rainbow forms. but these rainbow mentions are shortly followed by letdown for Laura when she learns of Jim’s battle. The rainbow image is peculiarly linked to the text’s storyteller Tom Wingfield. a hopeless dreamer that feels trapped by his household duties. The rainbow gives him hope. but it is proven that Tom really ne’er does go forth his hurting. He does get away. but the memory of Laura and his female parent still haunt him. At the decision of the drama we see Tom note that “the window is filled with pieces of colored glass. bantam crystalline bottles of delicate colorss. like spots of a tattered rainbow. ”
While rainbows are a symbol of hope in The Glass Menagerie. the coloring material green represents hope and dreams in The Great Gatsby. Specifically. green visible radiation that burns invariably at the terminal of Daisy’s dock is a multi-faceted symbol that represents Gatsby’s hankering for Daisy and the extent he was willing to travel to in order to animate the yesteryear. As Nick remarks at the decision of the text. “Gatsby believed in the green visible radiation. the orgastic hereafter that twelvemonth by twelvemonth recedes before us. It eluded us so. but that’s no affair – tomorrow we will run faster. stretch our weaponries out farther…” Here Fitzgerald extends the symbol of the green visible radiation to the audience and invites them to go on to trust and woolgather against the odds.
In blunt comparing to the optimistic and hopeful symbolism of the green visible radiation is the Valley of Ashes. a dirty and dry dumping land that portrays the true emptiness of the universe the novel is set in. The coloring material Grey is used repeatedly by Fitzgerald to depict facets of the vale and symbolises the disappearing of dreams. In add-on. the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg on a hoarding are a changeless reminder or the diminution in American pureness and spiritualty. The eyes. referred to abstractly as the eyes of God. supervise Daisy’s careless actions that result in the decease of Myrtle. who had been holding an matter with Daisy’s hubby Tom. Daisy appears to experience no compunction for her actions. and as Nick concludes. ” They were careless people. Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and animals and so retreated back into their money or their sloppiness … and allow other people clean up the muss they had made. ”
While Daisy may experience no compunction for her actions. other characters such as Wilson ( Myrtle’s hubby ) understand that in the terminal God’s eyes see everything. While staring out at the eye’s of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg overlooking his garage. Wilson calls. “I took her [ Myrtle ] to the window and I said. ‘God knows what you’ve been making. everything you’ve been making. You may gull me but you can’t fool God! ”
If the gray of the Valley of Ashes is used by Fitzgerald to symbolize the impairment of dreams. so we can compare this symbol to the glass unicorn used in William’s text The Glass Menagerie. The unicorn plays a paramount function in symbolizing the relationship between Laura and the gentleman company Jim. Laura occupies much of her clip with her glass aggregation. her glass menagerie of animate beings. The unicorn merely happens to be her favorite animate being. and the reader can therefore do a close connexion between Laura. a alone character. and the unicorn. a alone animate being. In high school. Laura was the unicorn in a society full of Equus caballuss because she was diffident and had a leg brace.
It is extremely symbolic that Jim breaks the horn of the glass unicorn merely before uncovering the truth to Laura about his matrimonial position. When Laura finds out that Jim is engaged to be married. Laura’s hopes are shattered. By interrupting the glass unicorn’s horn. Jim accidentally brings Laura into the existent universe where she is no longer sheltered by the confines of her illusional glass universe. When the unicorn loses its horn and becomes like the remainder of the animate beings in the glass menagerie. it loses its singularity. Likewise. when Laura additions assurance through Jim. she realizes that she is non excessively different from everyone else.
The glass menagerie itself is symbolic and represents the apogee of the Wingfield’s dreams. Each character aspires to accomplish single ends – for Tom. it is escape. for Laura. it is achieving the fondnesss of her love. while for Mrs. Wingfield. it is to recapture the yesteryear. In the terminal. the menagerie proves to be symbolic of the family’s shattered dreams and failures. For the Wingfield’s their humble being is immortalised in glass. and they are restricted by the deadening humdrum of their lives during “that quaint period. the mid-thirtiess. when the immense middle-class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. ” All the characters as a whole have tried to get away the rough world. yet in every instance they manage to neglect. and in bend shatter their dreams like glass.
Both Fitzgerald and Williams made usage of the historical period of their several texts The Great Gatsby and The Glass Menagerie were written to present a warning about the dangers of undying belief in dreams and semblances and besides to foreground moral impairment. Both writers besides invite their readers to do opinions about how the societal place of characters influences their determinations and actions. In add-on. both The Glass Menagerie and The Great Gatsby highlight how nonmeaningful stuff ownerships are. In peculiar. the character of Jay Gatsby demonstrates how even the richest adult male in the universe can non hold everything. Although his wealth drew Daisy closer to him. he ne’er genuinely could hold possessed her bosom. He demanded Daisy to province that she had ne’er loved Tom Buchanan. “Oh. you want excessively much! ” she cried to Gatsby. “I love you now–isn’t that adequate? I can’t aid what’s past. I did love him once–but I loved you excessively. ” As highlighted in this Essay. it is through the usage of symbolism in both texts that the authors’ cardinal thoughts can be developed. and a certain response can be drawn from the reader.