- "It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night." (113)
- All of Gatsby's parties are held at night and lit with artificial light. Light represents hopes and dreams. The artificial light represents the illusion of Gatsby's parties. Now that he has Daisy, Gatsby no longer needs the illusions of the parties to lure her in, as he can embrace reality.
- Daisy and Jordan are wearing white dresses again → innocence
- "Gatsby stood in the centre of the crimson carpet." (116) → unfulfilled promise
- Gatsby's car has leather green seats → represents his hope and promise for a relationship with Daisy, however this dream is crushed and it is his car which runs Myrtle over.
- Gatsby's yellow car represents Gatsby's corrupt pursuit of the American Dream (bootlegging), and is the same car that runs Myrtle over.
- “High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl." (120) → description of Daisy
- white = innocence, purity
- yellow/gold = corruption
- On the surface she is beautiful, rich, innocent and pure but under the surface that white innocence is mixed with the inevitable corruption that money brings.
- Doctor Eckleburg's eyes
- “then as Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’s faded eyes came into sight down the road” (122)
- "over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg kept their vigil”(124)
- The blue of his eyes represents God watching America as well as the American Dream, and the yellow rim of his glasses symbolizes the corruption of the American Dream
- “The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest day of the summer” (pg 114)
- Symbolizes the coming conflict and foreshadows the climax of emotions to come, with the confrontation in the suite, Daisy's rejection and Myrtle's death. The heat also depicts the mix and confusion of emotions, and Daisy recognizes that “it’s so hot and everything is confused” (118).
- Symbolizes Daisy and Gatsby's relationship. It is when the weather is at it’s hottest that Gatsby’s and Daisy’s relationship reaches a climax. What started on the rainy day they reconciled, reaches both its happiest moment, and comes to an end on this hot day.
Bootlegging and Organized Crime:
- Symbolizes the corruption of the American Dream and the decayed social and moral values, seen through the overreaching greed and pursuit of pleasure and wealth.
- “She’s not leaving me! Certainly not for a common swindler who’d have to steal to put a ring on her finger.”(133)
- “He and Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter... I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him.” (133)
- Gatsby is accused of gaining his wealth by bootlegging, which was the illegal sale of alcohol. During the 1920’s, prohibition meant that the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal. Many people desperate to achieve the American Dream sold alcohol illegally in order to get the money they needed to achieve this great dream. However, this displays the corruption of the 1920’s, as their methods were not honourable. For Gatsby, Daisy is his American Dream, and he is willing to do to illegal lengths to win her back.
- When Nick finds Gatsby in the bushes by the Buchanan’s house, he thinks that he “wouldn’t have been surprised to see sinister faces, the faces of “Wolfsheim’s people,” behind him in the dark shrubbery.” (143)
- Ultimately it is his shady and mysterious past that stands in the way of a future relationship with Daisy, and it is by publicly humiliating and shaming Gatsby that Tom is able to eradicate Gatsby’s future with Daisy.
Cars (Driving to death):
- “So we drove on to death in the cooling twilight” (136)
- Context: Nick has turned thirty and he is depressed by the fact that he is aging and that time is slipping by. This quote illustrates the idea that as time passes they are driving towards their respective deaths. There is also some foreshadowing, as they soon come across death, with the death of Mrs. Wilson.
- The importance of time becomes clear yet again during the fight in the suite, in which Gatsby attempts to solidify his future with Daisy by calling up past feelings, and asking her to tell Tom that she never loved him and that she is leaving him. However, by bringing up his past memories and history with Daisy, Tom manages to eradicate Gatsby’s vision of the future. He feels confident enough to let her drive home with Gatsby, symbolizing the death of Gatsby’s dream.
- “Not that day I carried you down from the Punch Bowl to keep your shoes dry?” There was a husky tenderness in his tone... “Daisy?” (132)
- “Please don’t.' Her voice was cold, the rancor was gone from it... 'I can’t help what’s past.' She began to sob helplessly. 'I did love him once - but I loved you too.” (132)
The Green Light:
- There is a contrast between the ending of this chapter and the beginning of the story, when Gatsby is looking out across the water at the green light, pining for Daisy. The green light represents the hope that Gatsby will have a relationship with Daisy. However, by chapter seven, Gatsby is seen pining once more for Daisy in the moonlight, but this time he has made it past the green light, onto the Buchanan’s lawn. Nick leaves Gatsby “standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing” (145). This symbolizes that his dream is shattered and it foreshadows that Daisy and Gatsby will not end up together. For Gatsby, his American Dream is over.