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Great Gatsby Essay: The Pursuit of the American Dream

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❶He needs to have an enormous mansion so he could feel confident enough to try and get Daisy.

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Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby


For instance, Fitzgerald describes a number of colors in clothes and household articles that are to portray the characters according to the symbolic role they play in the narration. Daisy and Jordan, for example, are often depicted in white clothes, which might seem as a symbol of innocence and purity. Nevertheless, neither Daisy, nor Jordan, are seen as chaste and blameless characters in the novel. Thus, it is possible to suppose that in this novel, white only seems to symbolize chastity, while in fact, it shows false purity and hypocrisy.

The bleak grey hues of the valley of ashes symbolically reflect the transition between the West Egg and the East Egg, each of them symbolizing certain notions as well. West Egg and East Egg both stand for money; East Egg is the place for the rich American aristocracy, while West Egg is the domain of the ones who gained the money during their lives, not inherited them.

Thus, the valley of ashes shows something in between, something that belongs neither to this world, nor to that. Doubtless, it is associated with the middle class, with the average population, leading a dull and uninteresting life, left out of the entertainments and sparkling luxury of the Jazz Era. Grey is the color of mediocrity, and so, by depicting the valley where common people live and toil in grey colors, Fitzgerald emphasizes the idea of a contemptuous attitude of the upper class to the lower one.

A previously described contrast of the upper and lower classes is not the only one in The Great Gatsby. West Egg and East Egg, situated opposite each other, show the gap between the American aristocracy and newly rich entrepreneurs. However, by drawing a special attention to the similar shape and size of the islands, Fitzgerald seems to emphasize the idea, that in fact, the difference can hardly be seen from a distance.

Another important symbol is the symbol of time. Interestingly, while talking to Daisy for the first time in many years, Gatsby is leaning on a defunct clock, which strengthens the idea of the futility of his aspirations and hopes. The symbol of defunct clock vividly shows the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby. With a number of subtle hints, Fitzgerald reveals how this ideal turned into the everlasting pursuit of materialistic values.

Interestingly, money seems to draw people together or tear them apart, depending on circumstances. A number of tiny details depicting the importance of money and the carelessness in the s society are found in the description of the cocktail parties, expensive evening dresses and jewelry, tremendously ornate houses and new cars.

On the one hand, these things are shown as the attributes of an American dream; though, on the other one, Fitzgerald seems to mock the extravagance of the unnecessary things that do not bring real happiness. Here Daisy and Tom are shown as the vivid examples of the corruptive influence of money and of the destruction it brings upon others. The tough world of money where the rich could do whatever they wanted to do, while the poor had no other choice but to endure is an undeniable opposite to the values that have been hypocritically praised in the s America.

The climax of the story, when Gatsby, originally coming from the lower classes dies for the thing Daisy had done is seen as one more example of the inconsistency of the American dream, and another example of the carelessness of the upper aristocracy. To sum it up, one should say that though Fitzgerald implies a great number of symbols in The Great Gatsby, the true meaning of them is not in the foreground. Loved this essay about The Great Gatsby?

Feel free to use it as an example and as an inspiration source! The Great Gatsby Essay Example: Symbolism and American Dream. Academic level Undergraduate Bachelor Professional. Deadline 6 hours 3 hours 12 hours 24 hours 2 days 3 days 6 days 10 days 14 days. Regardless of the turnaround time or field of study, you can be sure we have qualified personnel to handle the assignment for you. Our writers are knowledgeable in virtually all subject areas and will process your assignment as fast as possible to beat the deadlines.

People who are upper class are the ones that have money, drive fancy cars, and have nice, big houses. This later on causes destruction, and destroys Myrtle. It was later found that Daisy was the one that hit Myrtle with her car which resulted in the death of Myrtle. It is ironic that Daisy was the one that killed her, since Myrtle was having an affair with her husband, Tom.

This shows how the desire for a luxurious life and having the American dream, only caused destruction in this novel and destroyed someone life. The hope for happiness is something that Daisy hoped to have, but by finding out she married the wrong man changed who she is and her over outlook on life. Early on in the novel, Daisy finds out a secret that Tom is hiding from her.

You learn throughout the novel that Tom and Daisy relationship is not to most ideal, happy relationship. Tom seems to be abusive towards her, and rather does not seem to care much about her.

Daisy thinks she has everything, wealth, love and happiness which all tie into the American dream, but then she discovers that she has nothing and that she has been corrupted by this specific dream. She thought she has all she desired for but truly realized she had nothing. She has a child, who does not seem important to her at all. The child is never around, which shows a lot about Daisy. The baby has to be a beautiful fool in order to be happy and successful.

Daisy thought she had love when she married Tom, but truly in the long run, only came out with money. With Gatsby, Daisy realized something that broke her heart.

When reunited with Gatsby, who she has not seen in about five years Daisy breaks down and starts to cry. She figures out that she could have married for money with Gatsby but would have had love too. The ambition for something has thrown Gatsby over the edge. His love and chase for Daisy has taken over his whole life.

He feels that he has to live up to the American dream to accomplish what he truly dreams for, which is Daisy. While Gatsby was away fighting in the war, Daisy met Tom and married him. Daisy had always been rich and Gatsby thought that in order to get Daisy back, he needs to have money so that he would be able to give Daisy anything she wanted. There was a green light where Daisy lived that Gatsby would always look out to.

The green light is of great significance in this novel. Knowing this, one can see that no matter how hard Gatsby tries to live his fantasy, he will never be able to achieve it. Through close examination of the green light, one may learn that the force that empowers Gatsby to follow his lifelong aspiration is that of the American Dream. Fitzgerald uses the green light as a symbol of hope, money, and jealousy.

Gatsby looks up to the American dream and follows it so he can be the picture perfect man that every girl desires. Gatsby cares a lot about how people see him, and his appearance towards others. He wants everything to look perfect for Daisy, as he wants Daisy to view him as a perfect man. I suspected he meant my grass. Gatsby becomes corrupted because his main goal is to have Daisy.


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Gatsby was blinded by the American dream and as a result of this, cause destruction of Gatsby himself. He didn’t end up getting what he wanted because the American dream took over who he truly was. The American dream is a powerful dream that was significant in the novel The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald.

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The Great Gatsby American Dream Essay Words | 7 Pages The Great Gatsby is a novel that illustrates the society in the 's and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of the American population at that time.

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- The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a brilliant illustration of life among the new rich during the s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of . Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby, a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in , nowadays is rightly seen as the classics of the American literature. On the face of it, the plot seems to be a usual story of broken hopes and expectations.

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In the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the mysterious Jay Gatsby, had a similar fantasy dream. But, in theory, Jay Gatsby is just as far as any other person in their progress towards their true American Dream. Jay Gatsby, whose dream included of being with the girl of his dream, and being filthy rich. American Dream Great Gatsby Essay essays The American Dream was the philosophy that brought people to America and to start a new life in a strange, foreign land. Due to this dream, it was believed that America was the land of .