The American Dream In 'The Great Gatsby'

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Many people fantasize about the American dream. In his book The Epic of America, James Truslow Adams (1931) describes the American Dream as a, “...dream of land in which life should be better and richer and full for everyone with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” The American Dream is the idea that if a person has a significant amount of money and friends that they will be happy. It is in our nature as humans to want to be the best and have nicer things than our peers. The majority of people try to achieve the American Dream so that they will feel more exceptional to others. Though, in The Great Gatsby, the American Dream is a fallacy that the character Nick realizes can never truly be attained. In the Overview…show more content…
In the book, Fitzgerald mentions that there is a green light that appears to be at the end of a dock. This green light is supposed to symbolize hope for the future and the dock is Daisy. The green light is supposed to be Gatsby’s motivation for earning money and achieving the American Dream, yet he never truly experienced the American Dream because he is not happy regardless of how much money that he has. Gatsby realizes that money cannot buy him happiness and the only reason he wanted to live the American Dream is not to have more money than he did before he met Daisy, but to win Daisy 's heart like it is a prize. Society imagines that they are happy when they think of themselves living the American Dream. During The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses symbolism to show the miserable ways of all the characters. When Fitzgerald mentions the green light at the end of the dock, he is illustrating that Gatsby still has hope that him and Daisy will be together in the future. Then, later in the novel the narrator Nick Carraway describes the island after Gatsby dies as a, “...green breast of the new world.” (Fitzgerald 180). This quote represents new beginnings for everyone in the book who remained alive. The author uses the color green to symbolize growth in the rebirth of the American Dream and how the characters outlook of the American Dream is changed throughout the novel. If the characters were never displayed as troubled in their own ways and viewed the American Dream as its authentic ways, there would be no reason for the American Dream to be rebirthed. Therefore, Fitzgerald used the symbolism in The Great Gatsby to display change and growth in the characters and the American Dream, and to demonstrate that the American Dream is not
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