Sunday, 28 August 2011

Close Reading: 'The Great Gatsby' Last Paragraph

Fitzgerald ends The Great Gatsby in the following way:
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Fitzgerald, 189)

The green light Fitzgerald mentions in the first sentence is a representation of mens dreams and goals, in this case, Gatsbys. The light is portrayed as a future that is possible to achieve but year by year gradually diminishes. The second sentence mentions the escaping of such light but quickly restates its reappearance. Your goals, wishes, dreams, hopes and so on change throughout time. They transform and reinvent themselves. This is why the green light of tomorrow will be different from that of today. “And then one fine morning", if you're persistent enough, you will find yourself struggling against the current, wanting to metamorphose your dreams into reality, until the current brings you back to the past. (189) This is represented in various scenes in the book, but probably the most important one was Gatsbys desire to become everything he wasn't in order to win Daisys heart. All the obstacles he went through quickly crumbled and became insignificant when his life-long love rejected him. This green light he once deeply believed in faded out and Gatsby was left with nothing but the emptiness of his former dreams. 

1 comment:

  1. edmund wilson had it right
    the princeton boys were good
    but fitzgerald could "really write."