The Great Dream Essay

980 words - 4 pages

Hope, a concept that must be prevalent in order to attain any dream, was something Jay Gatsby did not lack. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, the motif of the American Dream arose with his turbulent love for Daisy. A love that ultimately made Gatsby pay the highest price: death. His dream, similar to most people, seemed largely impossible. Yet due to his hopeful nature, Jay Gatsby never surrendered his love for Daisy. Often times the search for one's American Dream, leads to a life of corruption, lies and immoral decisions. Fitzgerald demonstrates the unattainable nature of the American Dream with suave symbolism and detailed figurative language.
Fitzgerald uses symbolism to further his claim that the American Dream is ultimately unattainable. Fitzgerald chooses to make Gatsby a symbol of hope: "if personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life"(2). Jay Gatsby is compared to being an "unbroken series of successful gestures" to show his hopeful nature; no matter what occurs in his life, he remains unbroken, successful. In addition, hope is a very pure emotion; one humans rely on in moments of need, thus a gorgeous emotion. Gatsby contains the same gorgeous feel. By Fitzgerald comparing Gatsby to hope, he is ultimately showing hope's flaws because in the end, hope does not matter when one's whole life is wasted in the search for something impossible to achieve. Similar to Gatsby, the green light at the end of Daisy's dock also symbolizes hope because "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us"(189). The light was something just out of reach, yet year after year, the light provided Gatsby with hope to rekindle their love. To Gatsby, staring at this light made him feel close to Daisy, made the idea of being with her tangible. As their love brewed, the light faded. Gatsby began to feel less connected to the light that once dominated his sight. Fitzgerald demonstrates the lights dimness to show that as one arrives closer to their dream, the motivation dies down, and they become slowly unsatisfied. Lastly, Gatsby's lavish parties symbolize the time as a whole: over the top and temporary. Gatsby housed many people during his parties as an attempt to catch Daisy's eye. His house became known for its good time, even "the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams"(189). That is all this time period wanted: simplicity and fun. At Gatsby's house, many people came, had fun and left. They felt no entitlement to Gatsby and his life; they solely used him for the social connections. Their presence was similar to their dreams: temporary. This causes the American Dream to be unattainable because one must be motivated to accomplish their...

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