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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Time incorporates pockets of opportunities—a chance to love, to question, to become. However, once the pocket is filled as time slithers past, there are those who are reluctant to release the memories. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the past is symbolized as a key; Gatsby strives to solidify the ungraspable past through wealth, memories, and romance so that he may enrich the present. The theme of reliving the past is portrayed through Gatsby's conflicting symbols of reality and romanticism.
Gatsby relives the past through his status because he “[is] overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery wealth imprisons and preserves” (150). He believes that wealth is solution to “preserve” the forgotten past so that he can earn Daisy back into his life. Gatsby is revisiting the memories in his heart while he stands prepared next to his wealth for Daisy. He is, however, “trembling” with humility as he stares at the “single green light” (21); his realization of the “uncommunicable” (111) past arises from the beginning. Even though his disillusionment succumbs as he overlooks the river towards the “green light,” the “dark waters” (20) of time do not surrender; the “green light” is merely a “light” of hope. Over the “waters” of destiny, this barrier between reality and romanticism, the “light” is ungraspable—guarding Daisy. Gatsby “trembl[es]” with realization, but he cannot let go of the true love he strives for.
Even though Daisy and Gatsby embrace in an effort to revive the romantic past, romanticism and realism cannot submit to one another. Even as Daisy “blossom[s] for him like a flower” (111), the love is temporary. Like Gatsby's love letter that melts like “snow” (76), the romance is withered by the wrath of time. Even as Gatsby “form[s] a ladder and mount[s] to a secret place above the trees,” he realizes that he must “climb alone” (110). Daisy's realistic mind will shatter the fragile dream of the past.
As one travels through the “currents” of the waters, there is no hope of “beat[ing] . . . against the current[s]” (180) of destiny in order to ripen the fruits of past memories. It will solely symbolize, like Gatsby's life, a persisting voyage of hopeless dreams.





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