The Power of the Sun in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great GatsbyIn F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, there is a constantfeeling of movement and the desire to get away. Nick, Gatsby, Wilson,Tom and Daisy all move, or have the intention of moving. Not only doesthis movement seem to foreshadow events in the book, but it also seemsto lead to the conclusion that society as a whole in the 1920’s wasrather unstable and was undergoing constant change. Not all thecharacters move in the same way, and this shows how different theirbackgrounds and lifestyles are. The main movement seems to be fromwest to east. Throughout the decades man is said to be progressingthrough the steps of evolution and toward the setting sun, or east towest. The characters move in opposite direction from which the sunsets, which seems significant to the physical and psychologicalpatterns of the characters. The two main characters that movementaffects are Nick and Gatsby. The movement of Nick and Gatsby in thisdirection shows us how their personalities and feelings change as thesun goes down. There are also the various meanings that the sun has,that seems to map out, or affect their near future. The sunforeshadows Nick and Gatsby’s actions and emotions, which in turn areaffected by the many representations the sun has.
Jay Gatsby is a character that the sun affects in such a way that itbecomes a symbol of his ability to direct his will and, when puttogether with his dream, this gives him a sense of purpose. JimmieGatz was born in a town in Minnesota. After changing his name to JayGatsby, he moved to West Egg, Long Island in order …
…ended doing anything at all. But it was done now.It was too late.”(139) Just as the colors begin to bloom in thedazzling night sky they fade and disappear out of sight, just as Nickmoves away.
The rising sun has been used to describe progress and evolution, butas the sun travels backwards, it shows people for who they really are.The light is shone hard on the characters, so much so that they havenothing to hide behind. This minor action seems to set and change theentire novel at the same time. It also fits in perfectly with the flowor plot of the book. It shows how the characters are slowly opening upto their surroundings, and how much the sun, metaphorically, affectsthem. Throughout the novel, the sun has shone light on certaincharacters to show the power and hidden creativity of the unconsciousmind.