Essay On The Role Of Women In The Great Gatsby
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The Great Gatsby - Feminist Lens
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She is passionate about improving student access to higher education. Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers. How to Get a Perfect , by a Perfect Scorer. Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? How to Get a Perfect 4. How to Write an Amazing College Essay. A Comprehensive Guide. Choose Your Test. Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick May 8, AM. Roadmap to This Article What are symbols and why do authors use them? How do you find symbols in a work of fiction? Tips and advice for writing essays about symbols Links to our detailed, in-depth discussions about the key symbols in The Great Gatsby Quick Note on Our Citations Our citation format in this guide is chapter.
What Is a Symbol? Symbols vs. Motifs A symbol isn't the same thing as a motif. Themes A symbol isn't the same thing as a theme. Why Do Authors Use Symbols? So how do you know what's just a thing and what is imbued with a deeper meaning? Symbols Are Everywhere First, you have to realize that almost anything can be a symbol. Often a setting isn't simply a location where events happen. Sometimes it's also a shorthand, evocative way of representing a particular set of people or their ideas. For example, in The Great Gatsby , Myrtle's Manhattan apartment isn't simply a place for her to host parties, but it also stands for her ambition and aspiration to leave her working-class life behind.
More globally, it stands for the vulgar approximation of the upper class that the East Egg crowd scorns and mocks. This is probably the most common type of symbol—a thing that carries meaning over and above its inherent thing-ness. In this novel, almost every object described at any length can be seen a symbol. Think, for instance, of the ridiculously expensive pearl necklace Tom gives Daisy before their wedding.
He means it to be symbolic of his love for her, but it is also clearly a symbol of the way he uses his wealth to control other people something he will later do with Myrtle. More globally, it symbolizes the rich using their money to get their way. Sometimes, a character's actions, gestures, ways of speaking, or behaviors are themselves symbolic, representing an idea about that character alone, or about a group of similar people. One of Gatsby's most telling gestures is the outstretched arm pose he does several times in the book like at the end of Chapter 1 or in the beginning of Chapter 8.
One of Gatsby's most defining characteristics is his striving drive to attain Daisy's love and a position in the upper class—basically, a life that's just out of reach. His habitual gesture of reaching for the ungraspable symbolizes this trait. Infrequently, a character can also function as a symbol of a greater idea. This is literary device is hard to pull off, because making a person into a symbol tends to take away at least some of their individuality and personhood. This is exactly what happens in The Great Gatsby , where Daisy is at once herself lover to Gatsby, cousin to Nick, wife to Tom, mother to Pammy , and also a symbol of the American Dream and its flaws.
Universally Meaningful Symbols Some symbols are culturally universal. Here are some examples: Colors. Most civilizations imbue colors with meaning, although that meaning is by no means always the same either from one culture to another, or even within the same culture. For instance, think about the way we perceive the color red. It can sometimes represent a warning red means stop , but at other times, it's a symbol of love and passion red roses mean romance. In our case, The Great Gatsby places lots of significance on the color green, for example, which is associated both with hope and with sickness and death. Celestial Bodies. The moon, the sun, stars—these are all potential symbols. They don't play as prominent a role in The Great Gatsby as they do in some other books, but you can still find a lot of significance in the way the moon tends to illuminate the truth.
It's particularly evident in Chapters 8 and 9 , when the moon makes Gatsby look like a criminal to Nick after Myrtle's murder, and when Nick imagines East Egg as a creepy El Greco painting or as the lush shore Dutch sailors would have seen. If it's naturally-occurring, and if it intersects with the characters in any way, chances are it can be read as a symbol of something. Weather, in particular, plays a key function in this novel, especially when in extreme situations, like when Gatsby and Daisy's reunio n is almost ruined by a downpour, or when the tense confrontation in the Plaza Hotel is made even more excruciating by the unrelenting heat.
In each case, the weather can be interpreted as a symbol for the characters' emotions. Body Parts. It's not surprising that humans find other humans' bodies to be of particular significance. Whenever a book pays a lot of attention to hands, eyes, lips, or any other part of the body, there are bound to be layers of meaning behind it. In this novel, bodies are very important symbols of how characters are perceived. Whether it's Myrtle's gruesomely graphic corpse which speaks to the many ways her body is mistreated, or Daisy's siren-like voice , which points to the way Gatsby sees her more as a mythically desirable prize than as a real live person, body parts are meaningful.
Discrete and Original Symbols Many symbols aren't ones that have universal associations, but are instead more idiosyncratic and book-specific. Firstly, I think one of the most endearing quality my mother possesses is empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. Furthermore, my mother always makes sure that we both are on the same side of the arguments or talks rather than a battle to be won. She always validates me by showing or telling what I must be feeling.
I did not meet my mother from last five years but still I feel that she is the person who understand me and my problems the most. Undoubtedly, she seems to be touch everyone in a way where one can immediately connect with her and for sure she has no false pretenses. In addition, she crosses all barriers and can connect with others and radiates great empathy to others. Another attribute of my mother is patience.
My mother has been very patient with me and my siblings and of course she supports us in everything we do. Indeed, she does not scold whenever I fail in something, instead she consoles me make me feel better by telling me stories about her own failures and achievements throughout life. When I got married my mother advised me that every new thing or person comes in life takes time to adjust in life so be patience, and I still use that advise to make my life more easier.
Along with, she always accepts my behavior from taking forever to put on my shoes to testing my boundaries. Lastly, another quality that my mother has is that she is an amazing cook. She has always liked cooking. Her mother was not around much, so she had to learn on her own.