The Importance of Symbolism and Parallelism in The Great Gatsby

  • Heidi Pilla Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Lisa Williams, Mentor Ramapo College of New Jersey


The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a famous and highly beloved work partly because there seems to be a symbol packed into every sentence. On a first read, it is simple to understand but a second read allows the deeper meaning to be realized. His writing gives life to objects that would normally be static. Using subtle repetition and a parallel structure with every image relating in some way to the action of the novel, Fitzgerald portrays the complexity of the novel within a moment. Matthew J. Bruccoli describes the book as “An intricately planned book—a book in which, the symbols, the images connect up in meaningful ways,” (183). First time readers would never pick up on the fact that every individual paragraph in itself helps to determine the fate of the book. In this essay, I explore how Fitzgerald uses foreshadowing, metaphors, imagery, symbols, and personification to develop his characters, rather than direct characterization.

Dec 1, 2016
How to Cite
PILLA, Heidi; WILLIAMS, MENTOR, Lisa. The Importance of Symbolism and Parallelism in The Great Gatsby. Metamorphosis, [S.l.], dec. 2016. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 30 mar. 2017.