The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

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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 this chapter the readers find that Tom is cheating on Daisy and despite her knowledge of his actions, she continues to be married to him. If Daisy had respect for herself and was happy with herself alone and not what Tom made her, she would not stay with him knowing that he is cheating on her. In Gatsby’s Idea of the American Dream by Judd Taylor (1998), it is clear that even as the American Dream is portrayed as being made of money, Gatsby still cannot achieve it because he is not accepted in the wealthy society. Gatsby lives on the West egg because he has new money and had to work for his riches rather than have it handed down to him through generations. Taylor says, “Gatsby’s idea of the American Dream is doomed because he tries to buy his way into a society that will never accept him.”. This quote explains that although Gatsby is wealthy he will never be the kind of wealthy that is worshipped. Since Gatsby had to work for his money, he will never fit into the East egg society because they frown upon new money. There is no real reason why the characters in this book feel so negatively about new money,…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
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