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The American Dream Is Just A Dream

1071 words - 5 pages

“All the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that [others have] had” (Fitzgerald 5). In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald explores the idea of the American Dream – the ideal life – the dream of every American to be rich, prosperous, famous, loved, all those amazing imaginations that one could have. In this novel though, Fitzgerald portrays this dream as reachable and possible for anyone, but he also shows that this dream is not as great as everyone thinks it is. Fitzgerald depicts this dream as a death wish that could ruin any person that tries to reach it. This is shown by the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, and the truth behind Gatsby’s wealth and claim to fame, and also by Gatsby’s love for Daisy and him eventually drowning in his love for her.
Behind Gatsby’s mansion there is a barely visible green light that always shines. This green light is at the end of Daisy’s dock across the Sound. Almost every night, “[Gatsby] stretche[s] out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way...trembling… [there is] nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock” (25-26). Here Fitzgerald paints a picture of Gatsby shaking in his back yard trying to reach something that is obviously too far to grasp, Gatsby is yearning for the chance to be able to hold this light in his hand. This light is not just any green light; this is the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, Gatsby’s long lost love that he has not seen in over five years. Daisy was a rich young woman when she and Gatsby first fell in love, but he was just a poor farmer’s boy. Once Gatsby got back from war – since Daisy gave up on waiting for him – he made it a point to become famous and rich so that he could better form a relationship with Daisy again. This was not enough, Gatsby was living most of the American dream, but he did not have a love yet and that is what he most wanted. So when Gatsby is reaching for that green light – Daisy’s green light – he is reaching for a new beginning, for Daisy’s love again, for the American dream. Gatsby, “must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it... [he] believed in the green light" (Fitzgerald 189). He believed that he would earn back Daisy’s love, but this passion he had for receiving her love again kept him vulnerable through the end of the novel to hate and ultimately to his death.
Mr. Jay Gatsby devoted his life to become famous and rich, so that he could associate with ‘upper-class people’ and he worked hard to achieve the fame and fortune that he has. He earned the American dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald shows this in the novel, that hard work can help people to achieve their dreams and this is what the reader might think at the beginning of the novel, until the rumors start. People started many rumors about Gatsby: “He's a...

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