“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Fitzgerald 180)
F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby is about past memories and reveals that Jay Gatsby can't let go of the past.
“He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.” (Fitzgerald 110)
This theme is evident through the character Jay Gatsby and the event when Gatsby talks about how he wants to get Daisy to be his.
"Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can!"(Fitzgerald 110)
"...an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again." (Fitzgerald 2)
"...rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes..." (Fitzgerald 64)
"Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget" (Fitzgerald 9)
""It's really his wife that's keeping them apart. She's a Catholic, and they don't believe in divorce." Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie." (Fitzgerald 33)
The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg
The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg represents God because they saw everything in the Valley of the Ashes. They saw everything from Tom and Myrtle, Gatsby taking Nick to meet Meyer Wolfsheim, Daisy and Gatsby, to George Wilson knowing about Myrtle having an affair.
“Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night. “God sees everything,” repeated Wilson.” (Fitzgerald 159-160)
The Green Light
The green light at the end of Daisy's dock represents lust and the unattainable dream. It also represents Gatsby's hopes and dreams for his future.
"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that‘s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....And one fine morning-" (Fitzgerald 180)