The green light
The green light, situated on the end of Daisy’s East Egg dock, across the river from Gatsby’s West Egg Dock, symbolizes many things; greed, money, love, it is found everywhere throughout the novel. For Gatsby the light symbolizes his love for Daisy. Nick says, “Gatsby believed in the green light.” (page 182). Looking at the light made Gatsby believe him and Daisy would one day be together again. Throughout the novel, Nick continuously says he can only see the green light when Gatsby is reaching out towards it, but when Gatsby disappears he is in “darkness”. This shows us that Gatsby’s future is his recreation of his past with Daisy, and him reaching for the light represents the massive distance between their relationship then and what he wants their relationship to be now.
F. Scott Fitzgerald also chose to make the light green instead of white, to symbolize money and the greed that the characters have for it, especially Daisy. The light is purposefully situated on her dock to symbolize her money and greed, especially. For example, Daisy’s desire for money lead her to marry a man solely for his money, not for love. Her greed made Daisy incapable of truly loving anyone, that is why she decided to move away with Tom, even when she could have been with Gatsby. We are also shown Daisy’s true desires for money by when she starts crying when she realizes she could have had a wealthy lifestyle if she had chosen Gatsby, yet another reason that shows she never really loved him.
Throughout the novel, Gatsby believed Daisy was the personification of perfection, something she does not possess nor does she deserve, and as his hope of her leaving Tom begin to disappear, Gatsby’s own ‘American Dream’ vanishes from sight, along with the green light at the edge of her dock that he had longed for for so long.