Materialistic Nature Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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In 1931 James Truslow Adams, an American historian, defined and termed the ‘American Dream’ as the pursuit, through honest endeavour, a “better, happier, richer life”. Using this definition we can examine the form, rationality and shortcomings of the two characters’ visions of the American dream.
To Gatsby this vision is symbolised by Daisy Buchannan, often described as the “golden girl” by critics. In chapter seven it is stated by Nick that Daisy’s voice is “full of money”. Daisy’s voice calls out to characters in the book. Gatsby so desperately craves a “better” and “happier” life with Daisy but this statement could suggest that the materialistic nature of Daisy’s own American dream calls out to Gatsby; that even to a man with Gatsby’s wealth greater material
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Alternatively this statement could be highlighting the fact that despite matching wealth Daisy and Gatsby are marooned in different sectors of society. The colour gold is often used in the novel as a metonym for prosperity and wealth: Gold meaning old money rather than the more modern green printed dollars. A better life with Daisy would mean joining the upper classes from which previously despite, his painstakingly created facade, he has been excluded from. Piper (1965) suggests that The Great Gatsby is widely noted for depicting ‘a cross section of society’ yet it is difficult to place Gatsby anywhere. Every character however is flawed in
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