A Study of Symbols of Setting in The Great Gatsby毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Study of Symbols of Setting in The Great Gatsby毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

弗·斯各特·菲茨杰拉德的代表作《了不起的盖茨比》被称作是体现了爵士乐时代精神的“伟大的美国小说”。作者对小说中的场景进行精心的布局,使得场景的设置与小说中特定的人物和情节相呼应。

本文通过对主要场景的象征意义的分析展现了盖茨比对“美国梦”的追求, 揭示了“美国梦”虚幻的悲剧主题。其中,灰烬山谷象征着 20 世纪 20 年代美国人精神世界的荒芜;广告牌上那双蓝眼睛象征着美国人,而黄色眼镜象征着以金钱主导的视角;东卵象征着特权阶层,西卵则象征着美国 20 年代 20 世纪涌现出来的暴发户,东卵和西卵以及他们所象征的一切注定是不平等的;变幻的季节与小说情节的发展有着密切的关系,故事在万物复苏的春天开始展开,在闷热的夏天达到高潮,最后在寂寥的秋天落下帷幕。

菲茨杰拉德象征手法的高超运用,将上世纪二十年代美国的社会风貌、生活气息和感情节奏栩栩如生地再现出来,深化了人物形象,突出了小说的主题。

关键词:《了不起的盖茨比》;象征;场景;人物;主题

Contents

  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 1
    1. An overview of the novel 1
      1. The general plot 1
      2. The employment of symbolism 2
    2. Analysis of symbols of setting in the novel 3
      1. The Valley of Ashes 3
        1. The Eyes of Dr.T.J.Eckleburg—the eyes of god 4
        2. The Color of Grey—hopelessness 4
      2. East Egg and West Egg 5
        1. East Egg—fashion and sophistication 5
        2. West Egg—traditional American values 6
      3. Changing Seasons 6
        1. Spring—hope and expectation 7
        2. Summer—lover’s romantic relationship 7
        3. Autumn—loss and failure 8
  3. Conclusion 8

Works cited 10

Bibligraphy 11

A Study of Symbols of Setting in The Great Gatsby

Introduction

As one of the most outstanding writers in the 1920s, F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered as the spokesman and Poet Laureate of the “Jazz Age” in America. His masterpiece The Great Gatsby truly reproduces the social appearance and time spirit of America in the 1920s. In this works, the writer not only adopts brand-new angles of view and unique narrative skills, but also applies lots of images and symbolic techniques to portraying characters for the purpose of highlighting the theme and unifying the structure.

The scene is one of the traditional elements in the novel and it is composed of characters, events and environment. In novel narration, the scene directly offers frameworks, which include both “ongoing” dramatic events and common description of landscapes and scenes. By analyzing the application of major symbolic meanings in scene description in this novel, I will analyze the profound meaning behind these symbols so as to help readers have a more profound and comprehensive understanding of The Great Gatsby.

Demonstration

    1. An overview of the novel
      1. The general plot

Nick is the narrator of the story. He left his hometown in the mid-west and headed for New York to seek wealth. And nearby his residence stood Gatsby’s luxurious mansion, where Gatsby often held grand banquets at night. Nick got acquainted with Gatsby and learned that deep in Gatsby’s heart, there was an unforgettable love. The handsome and wise military officer Gatsby was born in an ordinary peasant family. When he was garrisoning in a large city in the south, he fell in love with a noble lady called Daisy and pledged to marry her without the parents’ permission. When Gatsby went for a battle in Europe, Daisy was married to a playboy

called Tom. Later, though Daisy lived a wealthy life, she was not happy at all, because Tom didn’t love her at all and had a lover outside. For the love-stuck Gatsby, it was difficult to forget Daisy, and through illegal transactions, he made a fortune and finally was able to resume his love with Daisy. Gatsby requested Daisy to get back to him, but Daisy hankered after Tom’s social status and luxurious life, so she refused Gatsby’s request. Later, on the way back home, Daisy accidentally ran into Tom’s lover when driving Gatsby’s car. To protect Daisy, Gatsby took the blame for the accident. Tom incited his lover’s husband to shoot Gatsby, and Gatsby finally became the victim. The tragedy of Gatsby lay in the fact that he devoted all to what he thought was the beautiful love, but Daisy, as his ideal lover, only had a beautiful body. When Gatsby’s funeral was prepared in sorrow, Daisy and Tom were going on a romantic tour to Europe. Nick witnessed the fickleness of worldly relationship among people and felt deeply bored. Therefore, with a sad mood, he got away from the noisy, indifferent and false metropolis and returned to his hometown gloomily.

      1. The employment of symbolism

Symbolism was an important literary genre and trend of thought arising in France in the late 19th century. In later development, it gradually exerted a huge influence on the European and American literary world. Symbolism in the early stage mainly stressed that anything had its corresponding idea and meaning, the external accorded with the internal world, and people could discover the symbolic meaning from things. Symbolism in the later stage arose in the early 19th century, which proposed the combination of concreteness and abstraction, and applied colors, characters and objects to expressing abstract thoughts or concepts. As a specific artistic technique of expression, the symbolism in novel creation aims to show the invisible thought hidden behind the visible things and phenomena.

In this novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald gives full play to symbolism through his imagination and demonstrates illusion and destruction of “American Dream” vividly and profoundly. The symbols that he uses involve things, characters and actions. Things include banquet, color, clothing, geographical names, weather and billboards,

etc. Actions include Gatsby staring at the green light, swimming and so on. Characters include Gatsby, Tom and Daisy. The setting is not just a description of the surroundings, but an artistic device thoroughly depicting the life from a different perspective. As a crucial factor in the creation of atmosphere, a special setting often plays an important role in arousing, developing, sustaining, and repeating emotions in the novel. Therefore, this thesis will focus on the symbolic meanings of the three main settings.

    1. Analysis of symbols of setting in the novel

The setting refers to the background and environment of the story which has lots of functions. In The Great Gatsby, a number of settings have helped demonstrate its main theme and show the actual background. In the following part, three most significant symbolic settings in this novel—the valley of ashes, East Egg and West Egg, and changing seasons will be respectively analyzed.

      1. The valley of ashes

The valley of ashes actually is an important scene of the novel. The valley is a symbol of the spiritual world of modern western countries, and it is a by-product of the development of modern industrial civilization. In the process of manufacturing wealth, cars and trains produce a lot of dust, so toxic objects erode the land of the United States. With naked eyes, one can see desert dust which symbolizes the industrial society in the creation of material wealth. And in order to get wealth and enjoyment, whether it is Tom of the upper class society or the poor Gatsby, both are unscrupulous to get rich and pleasant. The United States was a new world, ushering in the greatest dream, and now, there was only one hell of the valley of ashes. People have lost their virtues and spiritual destinies. In this barren land, they live without vitality and meaning.

        1. The eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg—the eyes of God

There is a billboard at the top of the valley of ashes that has been exposed to the

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