The Great Gatsby: Symbols

The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The Valley of Ashes, East and West Egg. The green light. Daisy (a forget-me-not, perhaps?). Symbols abound in The Great Gatsby and this activity asks groups to focus on the valley of ashes in Chapter 2 and other symbols Fitzgerald uses to develop his themes. To end the discussion, individuals write about what Daisy has come to represent to Gatsby.

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Pros

  • The activity creates in readers an awareness that Fitzgerald has reasons for using symbols to develop his themes (why pink silk shirts, why a yellow circus wagon of a car, why gray dust?)
Cons

  • Less skillful readers may need additional scaffolding to complete the writing assignment