F. Scott Fitzgerald uses many symbols in The Great Gatsby to show the reader what live was like in the early 1900s. Some symbols show Gatsby is greedy. Others show things like how Daisy and Tom are old money while Gatsby is new money. Fitzgerald also utilizes water details and imagery to both mirror and foreshadow tragic events in The Great Gatsby. When a body of water is depicted in the novel, something dreadful is foreshadowed. Bodies of water appear in different sizes, yet they all still foreshadow a tragic event.
For example, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock “glittered across the water” (5).This depicts and foreshadows bad relations between Gatsby and Daisy. Furthermore, it foreshadows many bad events in general because the two are physically separated by the body of water.
Another example is when Gatsby “was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into [Nick’s] eyes” (86). Staring into Nick’s eyes, Gatsby lucidly reveals that he is heavyhearted. It also demonstrates more foreshadowing of tragic events between Gatsby and Daisy. Lastly, “Gatsby shouldered the mattress and started for the pool” (161). Gatsby is depicted as going towards a body of water, which is a pool.
Gatsby moving towards water foreshadows a tragic event that is about to beset him. Even though tragic things happen when bodies of water are depicted, tragic things can also happen when it is raining. When there is rain being depicted in the novel, something tragic happens to the characters. Being depicted as gloomy throughout the entire book, rain is only depicted during melancholy parts of the novel. When Gatsby planned on meeting with Daisy, “the day agreed upon was pouring rain” (83). Gatsby is nervous about the tea because it is raining.Rain is portrayed here not to foreshadow something tragic at the tea, but something tragic in the long run.
At the time that Gatsby was buried, Nick notes that “the sky had turned dark and [Nick] got back to West Egg in a drizzle” (172). The drizzle symbolizes something gloomy, which is Gatsby’s death. The rain is no longer foreshadowing a sad event, but it symbolizes the tragic events that have already occurred. During Gatsby’s burial, the “procession of three cars reached the cemetery and stopped in a thick drizzle beside the gate” (174).
This further depicts the sadness and gloominess of Gatsby’s death.Furthermore, it sums up all of the tragic events that led up to Gatsby’s death. Even though rain is a natural occurrence, in the novel, it foreshadows tragic events. There is a prodigious amount of symbols in The Great Gatsby. While water is necessary for life and is usually looked upon as a good thing, it is depicted as a dark and gloomy matter. Water is either used before a tragic event to foreshadow it, or it is used during a tragic event to further present the sadness of the event.
Tragic events in The Great Gatsby are intensified and emphasized through the use of the image of water.