Simile, Symbolism And Allusion In Chapter 8 Of The Great Gatsby

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Table of contents

  1. Symbolism
  2. Imagery
  3. Simile
  4. Allusion

Throughout chapter 8, Fitzgerald compares the past with the present. Gatsby is trying to recreate his past-recalling his history and memories with Daisy, allows Nick to understand the depth of love he still has for Daisy. But after the accident, Daisy has been loyal only to Tom represents the end of Gatsby’s happiness.


Fitzgerald states, “I waited, and about four o’clock she came to the window and stood there for a minute and then turned out the light.” Throughout the novel, the green light symbolizes the hope of Gatsby and Daisy’s destiny together. Turning off the light, suggests the end of their hope and future for Gatsby and highlighting the unattainability of Gatsby’s dream. With Gatsby hoping to acquire and Daisy (her social status, power, lifestyle) he represents a symbol of America during the 1920’s along with the flawed nature of the American dream.

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Fitzgerald describes, “We pushed aside curtains that were like pavilions, and felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for electric light switches — once I tumbled with a sort of splash upon the keys of a ghostly piano.” Within the statement, the reader can sense a dark mood, while in the previous chapter the mood contrasts with Gatsby’s well-lit mansion representing happier vibes.


In this chapter, the imagery is dark and gloomy with phrases such as “ghostly piano” and “stale cigarettes.” Fitzgerald only includes happier imagery when recalling the past memories of Daisy and Gatsby portraying that, that was when Gatsby was truly happy when he had acquired Daisy (her position, social status, wealth, power, and lifestyle.)


Fitzgerald mentions a simile, “because “Jay Gatsby.” had broken up like glass against Tom’s hard malice, and the long secret extravaganza was played out.” In this statement Fitzgerald juxtaposes Gatsby and Tom. He suggests that Gatsby is fragile like glass and Tom is a more accomplished and powerful man, therefore, Daisy chose to be with him not Gatsby. The broken glass also symbolizes Daisy’s frail personality and feelings.


This sentence, “All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the Beale Street Blues” is an example of allusion. The Beale Street Blues is a song by W.C. Handy representing the Jazz Age during the 1920’s, creating a low-spirited mood because the saxophones are personified to be wailing rather than portraying a happy mood.

The weather throughout the novel, can signify a change of atmosphere within the characters. In the previous chapter, it was the hottest day of summer. That same day Myrtle's death occurred. But as the night cooled off and as morning approached Daisy decides to stay with Tom rather than Gatsby. In this chapter as autumn arrives (season changing) symbolizes the end to Gatsby’s hopes and dreams and eventually an end to his life.

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Simile, Symbolism And Allusion In Chapter 8 Of The Great Gatsby. (2021, August 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
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