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Mohammad symbolizes hope, and uses its ironic literal meaning

Mohammad El-KaafaraniMrs. RiceENG4UJanuary 17th, 2018Underlying Meaning The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, revolves around the ideology of wealth and power. The novel demonstrates the relationship between those who are wealthy and those who are powerful. As elicited in the novel, wealth had direct correlations to power. Those who have the money, ultimately have the power. Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, focuses on human nature, and how power and corruption lead to savagery. Despite the many differences between these two novels, both authors effectively use symbolism to advance the themes of hope, authority, and destruction. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the green light as a symbol of hope; a dream being pursued. The phrase “don’t stop reaching out for your dreams” is often used to inspire people to work for their goals. This image was embedded in Great Gatsby through the green light. The green light symbolizes hope, and uses its ironic literal meaning of “proceed”. To inspire James Gatz to follow his dreams. Fitzgerald exemplifies this through his main character, Nick, when “Nick is not alone… He sees Mr. Gatsby… stretching out his arms toward the water… and Nick sees nothing except a single green light… far away, that he thinks might have been the end of a dock” (Fitzgerald 25). This quote depicts James as a man with a goal, and that he is reaching out to this goal in hopes that one day, he finds/gets what he is looking for. The green light also symbolizes destruction, as it is the pursuit of his dream that ultimately leads to his demise. James’ affairs with Daisy leads to a series of events, which include the death of Myrtle, which enrages Mr. Wilson and drives him to take action. It was the chauffeur “who heard the shots” (154). And Nick and the gardener “find Gatsby and they see Wilson’s body a little way off in the grass from Gatsby’s” (154). Gatsby’s quest is what leads him to his demise.Similarly, William Golding uses fire as a symbol of hope in his novel Lord of the Flies. The fire symbolizes hope to be rescued. It’s Ralph’s hope that a passing ship sees the light emitted by the fire and follow it, just as James follows his light. Golding’s use of fire as a symbol is ironic because it also symbolizes destruction. Piggy says “you got your small fire all right” (Golding 44) sarcastically to Ralph who intends on making a small fire, but instead, he accidentally starts a huge fire that “lays hold on the forest and begins to grow” (44). This symbolizes that hope is good barring that too much hope is dangerous. Another symbol used by Fitzgerald is money. Money in The Great Gatsby symbolizes power. Fitzgerald effectively shows that those who have money have power. He demonstrates throughout his novel, that the Buchanans are esteemed powerful due to their enormous wealth. The theme of old money vs new money in the novel and can be translated to the powerful vs those who work for the powerful. The symbolism of money also lies in the setting of the novel. East Eff versus West Edd is an example of the division of power, as those who are deemed “old money” live in the East Edd and those who are deemed “new money” inhabit the West Edd. And then there are those who have no power and no voice. They lie between East Egg and West Egg, in the valley of ashes, They, in turn, symbolize the powerless. “This is the valley of ashes… and ash-grey men” (26). This is Fitzgerald’s way of symbolizing significance in society, where the powerful are full of beautiful colors, like Tom’s “cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion” (12), and the powerless are of ugly, lifeless colors such as “ash-grey” (26). In comparison, William Golding uses the conch as a symbol to effectively develop the themes of power and control in his novel Lord of the Flies. The conch, similar to the symbolism of money in The Great Gatsby, symbolizes presidential-like authority. Whoever has the conch has the power to speak. When the boys ignored what Piggy  had to say, he exclaimed that “he’s got the conch!” (180) which interprets to he has the power. In addition, when “the rock strikes Piggy… the conch explodes into a thousand white fragments and ceases to exist” (181) which means that there is chaos, that power is out of control and authority ceases to exist. Ironically, when the stocks crash, all money is lost, and there is chaos amongst people, and the only thing that people are worrying about ios survival. In Lord of the Flies, when the conch explodes, it reveals human nature at its very core, which deep down in everyone, lies the natural instinct of survival. On the flip side, similarly to The Great Gatsby, the power struggle lies between the hunters and those who seek refuge. As the boys divide into these two groups which are lead by Ralph and Jack. there are the little ‘uns who follow around blindly. They play the same role as the people in the valley of ashes as they are objectified and used. Like when Jack, who is deemed permissible to behold the conch, says “use a littlun” (115) to the rest of the boys, he treats them as objects and that they are expendable. In conclusion, the authors effectively use symbolism to convey the themes of hope, power, and destruction of power. They illustrate what power does to someone, and how too much hope is dangerous. They reveal how corruption takes a toll on people and reflects true human nature, which as shown in both novels, comes down to survival and savagery. Both pieces of literature depict examples of basic human nature in both regards, like when you have money, in The Great Gatsby, and when you have nothing, in Lord of the Flies. Works citedFitzgerald, F.Scott. The Great Gatsby. Penguin Books, 1950. Print.Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. Perigee Literature, 1954. Print.


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