From the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F.Scott Fitzgerald. This is a symbol of unrequited love and dreams unfulfilled.

"He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night." -from the novel (above).

This light, and all it represented, would haunt Gatsby.

As a young child, my mother (an English teacher) had me read this book. Years later, when we moved out to the country we lived on a small lake with lane markers that lit up every evening. 300 feet away from our shore, directly across from us, was marker number 31, with a small green light. It meant nothing to me until I was 20, and had the "first big heartache."

After that I have never forgotten what a terrific symbol that Fitzgerald chose. A light, close but far away, a constant reminder.

On, off, On, off ....till dawn.


Traditionally in boating, a green light was hung from the stern (the back) of a ship. That that was the symbol of Jay Gatsby's longing is incredibly meaningful. It meant that Daisy was continually moving away from him. It meant that, no matter what he did or how he acted, she would be out of his reach forever.

The green light at the end of Daisy's dock symbolizes not only what's been said above, but also many other things. Jealousy, for instance. Gatsby was in love with Daisy, but he was also insanely jealous of Tom. It signifies greed -- Gatsby wanted Daisy all to himself, and he went to great lengths in an attempt to win her (Really, I'm surprised he didn't cut the books.) This is a slight stretch, but it's possible the light also symbolized, well, greenness. East Egg was full of those with new money (well, except for Nick), and while in that case it would make sense for the light to be on East Egg, then only those on West Egg would be able to see it and, well, it probably wouldn't mean much to them, being from old money and all.

I have often mused on the symbolism of the gchat "available" green dot and the green light of Daisy's dock in The Great Gatsby. Where one distinguishes "nothing except a single green light, minute and far away"

across the expanse,
the sea of a dozen states,
your green light beckons

Tell me you, too, feel the romanticism of a flickering green light across the void.

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