Fitzgerald’s incorporation of the explicit details in the beginning of chapter three has many symbolic interpretations behind it. The significance of the detailed passage depicts the representation of the people, and the loss of human individuality in the society and the expectation that the society.
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There were not many occasions where the colour blue was illustrated in the book, however, the use of the phrase ‘blue gardens’ conveys the idea of hope. The phrase is odd due to the fact that gardens can never be blue, and the adjective identifies that Gatsby’s gardens is filled with hope, therefore can symbolise the American dream. Yet, despite the fact that there is hope right in front of the men and women, the pass by it every night, without acknowledging it. Fitzgerald challenges the society’s choices by acknowledging that despite the fact that hope is always in front of the people the society always choose to ignore it to uphold their reputation. The colour blue was also used in the passage of ‘the valley of ashes’ describing the eyes of Eckleburg as huge and blue, also symbolising the American dream. This foreshadows Gatsby’s downfall due to the fact that Eckleburg’s surrounding was dull and melancholy, clearly conveying the loss of vitality. Gatsby and Eckleburg share two main attributes, they both symbolise hope in the society, however due to the constant expectations the society holds, they were both brought to their downfall.
In consequently, Fitzgerald begins his description about the men and women by painting a picture of moths, relating the idea of the crowdedness of the insect to the men and women who came and go. The use of moths in the sentence symbolised the idea that they were all the unidentified, ‘faceless and nameless.’ Moths are not insects that could be distinguished from one and another, therefore, the people who came to Gatsby’s house were unknown, swarming the gardens aimlessly, without a purpose. The passage ‘valley of ashes’ contrasts to the faceless and nameless society. The description of Doctor T.J Eckleburg demonstrated that Eckleburg’s eyes “look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles,” which implies that Eckleburg himself is the symbolism of the loss of human individuality in the society, just like countless of faceless and nameless men and women that swarmed Gatsby’s garden. Despite the constant parties, and the number of turnouts, people never stop to question where they are, or who was around them, but simply concentrate on their own business, their own pleasure, even if there are other’s around them that are struggling, like Gatsby. Fitzgerald aims to raise awareness of the society, addressing the issue and the selfishness that each member of the society possessed.
The use of the stars in the passage illustrates that the men and women that came and go where countless, that many came to his parties, and just like the stars, it was inevitable. Stars disappear in the morning, as did the men and women who attended Gatsby’s parties, however, they would emerge once more at night, shining just for that night before absconding once more. Just like the stars, the men and women did not attend those parties to meet Gatsby, nor to even acknowledge him as a host, and that was demonstrated when Nick had begun to ask where Gatsby was, only to receive answers that never directed him to Gatsby’s whereabouts. Just like the faceless men and women, Gatsby remains faceless to the society, unrecognised and unknown. With the continuous image of being ‘faceless’, Fitzgerald revolves around the expectation that society deems as normal, inevitably dooming hope, and the idea of the American dream as well the loss of individuality.
In the beginning of chapter three, a whole paragraph is written, in detail, describing and explaining what happens to the oranges therefore it symbolises the representation of the people. The paragraph interprets the men and women that drift in and out of Gatsby’s party. That many appear, which is symbolised by, ‘two hundred’ oranges, and after the end of their journey, they their juice is extracted, which demonstrates the vitality and the individualism of each man or women that drift in Gatsby’s party. They are left unsatisfied, dried out, as if they were being used and manipulated. That can signify Gatsby’s loneliness and the need to have company, for despite how selfish it is, he extracts the company and the energy of others, even if they are left feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. On the other hand, the passage can be seen as a passion in status and power. The use of the machine ‘could extract the juice of two hundred in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb’ this imagery depicts the control and the power just one thumb and one butler could have over such a large number of oranges. Fitzgerald acknowledges and challenges their views by conveying that every member of the old money society has the tendency to manipulate and control those who are lower than them in status, whether that be the New money society, or those who don’t fit on either category like Nick. Fitzgerald addresses the issue of manipulation throughout the power the butler’s fingers had on each of the two hundred oranges. The butler managed to extract out the orang’s juice with a simple push of a button, just like many Old money people who have been given the power, by the society’s expectation, to eradicate anyone else’s dignity due to them being in a lower status.
Fitzgerald enforces the view of the society and their expectations by showing the excitement that Nick clearly highlights during the third paragraphs. Nick describes Gatsby’s place with passion and enthusiasm, depicting that it was not every day that the man attended such grand, rich parties. Nick represents the normality of the society, and how everyone in lower status should be forced to feel honoured when attending a party that was ‘above their status.’ Nick describes the richness with buffet tales that are ‘garnished and glistening’, portraying the fruitfulness with the continues description of the food. Gold was a colour that was introduced in the passage, describing the turkeys as ‘bewitched to a dark gold.’ Gatsby aimed to show off his wealth by having food ‘bewitched to a dark gold’. In the fourth paragraphs, full stops were rarely used, depicting the excitement of Nick, his eagerness as he examined and studied Gatsby’s place.
Fitzgerald highlighted that the it was the society’s expectations that was at fault, it was the society’s expectations that encouraged the loss of the American dream and the loss of the individuality. Through the third chapter, Fitzgerald challenged the societies views by the representation of the people, their empty interactions with others and heir continuous dismissal of hope. Fitzgerald continues to portray the destruction of hope and the American dream, blaming it on the people and the society.
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