The two decades between World War I and World War II were a golden age of American fiction. Fitzgerald, as a member of "the lost generation", publish his The Great Gatsby in 1925 and confirmed his status as a chronicler and poet laureate in the jazz age. He was once credited by T. S. Eliot for "the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James, because Fitzgerald depicted the extolled grandest and most boisterous, reckless and merry-making scene" through what he knew or indirectly experienced and discovered the disillusionment that "a generation grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faith in man shaken", what's more, he depicted the postwar unprecedented boom of material revelry and at the same time presented the disappointment of the postwar generation for America, the concern for the loss of conventional .
values and ideals, and the regret for the disillusionment of American Dream.The Great Gatsby is well-known as the most mature work of Fitzgerald, whether in thought or in writing techniques. He overcame the precious flaws and applied imagism and symbolism to present moral history of his contemporary times from the view of Nick. The application of symbolism made his work surpass the narrow individual world, connect the subjective with the objective, and amplify as well typify individual experiences.Symbolism, as a unique artistic technique, has two important meanings according to the definition from Webster: one is to explain invisible things by using visible symbols; the other is the connection and relation between symbols and meanings. Hence symbolism in fiction aims to present the hidden things and thoughts under phenomena. Fitzgerald himself had the experiences, from an obscure poor to a new talent in the literary world, from over night success to excessive hedonism. So he could vividly depict the mysterious and desirous wealth of Gatsby and unfolded before our eyes a blazing picture of the jazz age.