Fitzgerald’s Insinuations Throughout time and space the world has seen many writers that have altered life as we know it.
The world continues to change as an ever shifting ball of culture and intellect.Man’s history has given us writers like Shakespeare, who is still misunderstood to this day, and Homer, a man that has many Americans thinking of a cartoon character with the a lack of intelligence.Francis Scott Fitzgerald is far from one of these gentlemen, or ladies, that have changed the way we think.His use of symbolism and his critical view of the “rich and famous” are the subject of much controversy.In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald continually uses symbolism in many ways to express the corruption of the upper class in the United States.
The writing of Fitzgerald is influenced by his life deeply.He was born in 1896, (The Great Gatsby, back of book) in Minnesota.He was educated at Princeton University.He became wealthy after college and married a woman named Zelda.
He lived in the upper class, spending much of his time in New York and Paris, much like Gatsby’s life.After living in the middle United States, they both were educated at excellent universities.They then became rich and traveled to New York frequently.
Although the way they made their money is very different, they still went from rags to riches.This could be why Fitzgerald chose to put Gatsby in West Egg, with the “newly rich,” because Fitzgerald himself would know how to write from his view.Fitzgerald lived his life to the fullest.After graduated he gained qualities much like Gatsby.
“…the very qualities that made him a success-his innocence, his restlessness, his incessant dreaming, his sense of indestructibility, led to his downfall.” (Tessitore 99)This quote is about Fitzgerald but can easily be used for Gatsby.His unwillingness to give up Daisy led to his eventual death.They have countless similarities, “…in the act of recording Gatsby’s experiences, he discovers himself.” (Samuels 4)Gatsby is truly Fitzgerald’s sub-conscious’ imagine of himself.F.
Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism to show the corruption of the upper class, and the constant need for money.In the novel Wilson, “..
.a blonde, spiritless man, anæmic and faintly handsome” (Fitzgerald 29) is insensible and dreary.His wife, Myrtle, an unfaithful woman bored with life in the Valley of Ashes, is in love with Tom Buchannan, who gives her the expensive objects she desires.Without Tom’s money or regular gifts, not to mention sex, she would not even bother to talk to him.With his apartment in New York he allows her to escape her “dead” husband.
Myrtle’s actions portray a woman desperate to get out of the Valley of Ashes.The manner in which she treats Wilson and her obsession with Tom indicate her true materialistic views and need to escape her life she now lives.The valley of ashes, a gray and lifeless area, and Wilson, a dreary inert man, symbolize death.Later in the novel Myrtle is killed and Wilson left heartbroken, who then kills Gatsby and himself.
It seems anywhere Wilson goes, death follows.“Wilson’s dull self-destructive grief is the embodiment of the sterility of the valley of ashes; lacking a dream, his life is a kind of death.” (Bruccoli 53) His life in the valley of ashes is dead all around him.
What makes the difference between a human and an animal is our ability to think, love, hate, dream and comprehend daily tasks.Wilson certainly can love and hate; as shown when he kills Gatsby, but there is no evidence of dream in his life.Everyone on earth has a dream.
Both Wilson’s appearance and lack of dreams are simple means that Fitzgerald uses to create Wilson’s lifeless character.He is constantly ordered around by Tom and Myrtle, constantly being walked over.Myrtle also fails to ever come out and express any sort of love for Wilson in the novel.Wilson never suspects Myrtle of cheating on him and is deeply in love with her.
Fitzgerald was a wizard at the use of symbolism.His use of it was for many reasons.The eyes of T.J. Eckleburg were used in the book as a symbol.For what the symbol stood for, is the center of much controversy even to this day.It is believed that the eyes stand for God watching over the Valley.There is a lot of evidence to back this idea up.For instance, Wilson, on of the only characters that is not completely corrupt until the end in which he goes mentally insane, lives here, and the eyes look over him.Fitzgerald makes Wilson a nice man and a working.