A single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter I) on Rap Genius

Meaning

This light is an important recurring symbol in the novel. Green is often associated with envy, which makes sense considering the green light represents his jealousy for Tom having Daisy. But the green light has most nearly come to represent the American Dream, and the futility of chasing it.

Literally, the light is located at the end of Daisy and Tom’s dock. And since that is all that Gatsby can see of their house from where he is, he grows to associate that light with Daisy.

The light is often described as seeming so close, but always just out of reach, and that is also a good way of describing the American dream itself.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Great Gatsby (Chapter I)” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and leave a comment on the lyrics box