The novel shows characters of different social statuses and each character’s quest for a dream, I. Their ћgreen light”. The ћdream I. E. The American Dream Is a reoccurring theme In the novel. Each character has a dream and pursues that dream or lives vicariously through another. Some characters live the dream by birth-rite, whereas others are not so fortunate. The American Dream may be defined but that dream holds different meaning for different characters. The American Dream Is defined by equality In all spectrums of life but pays close attention to finance. In the novel, we see a man”s Journey from rags to riches, a Cinderella story we may call it.
Examples were cited throughout. We see the being of his Journey from James Gate to Jay Gatsby with cited examples. He had such great ambition at such a young age. But it Nelson 2 Is eventually learning that equality In society cannot be achieved Just by financial gain. Money usually Improves social status but although Jay Gatsby was wealthy, he was never accepted by society. New money is not old money. They can never be equal. The text ends in tragedy as our ћCinderella never gets his princess and thus the text’s presentation of the American Dream is corrupted.
Jay is opposed to work hard, become successful and get the girl. That”s the dream. However, he cheated his way to the top by improving his financial status illegally. Throughout the novel, Gatsby is said to be a bootlegger. But would it have made any difference if he became successful the traditional way? Probably not. His family name holds no meaning In society. He didn’t attend an Ivy league school, wasn’t a member of some ancient fraternity, he was no one. According to the novel, the American Dream is flawed. Gatsby however, was not the only character with a dream.
We get an insight to the dreams of Nick Caraway, Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson. Nick lived his dream vicariously through Gatsby. The two were similar In that they were both outcasts but for different reasons. Nick lacked finances, whereas, Gatsby lacked In the department of social status. Nick and Tom came fairly the same social circle. Financially however, they were not equals. Understood. It is said that all human beings crave for a sense of belonging and thus it is contained in the dream. There is a distinct difference between the typical modest American Dream, versus the extravagant dream in The Great Gatsby.
The dreams that these characters have are not the norm. In this novel, the American Dream sin”t displayed as the ћwhite picket fence”, two-story home with an American flag in the Nelson 3 front yard. No, this dream does share similarities, like serving your country in the war, but the dream is much bigger. This story is not the story of the average American. These people are exceptional. The character that seems to be closest to reality was that of George B. Wilson, who owned a modest garage. Also, the dream does not satisfy all characters. Take for instance, Tom Buchanan.
He moms from old money, went to an ivy-league school and has a gorgeous wife yet he is still unhappy and seeks out a mistress. Tom Buchanan has everything. He basically lives the American Dream, but is still, for lack of a better word, ћan gasohol”. Ever as he lives the dream, he tries to undermine the dreams of others. Myrtle Wilson also has her dream. She settled for Mr.. Wilson. He was”t wealthy and now her dream is to marry Tom. Assessing he dreams, we see the importance of social status. These dreams are on the sideline and are not explored in as much depth as those of Mr.. Gatsby.
The book is indeed called The Great Gatsby. On Gatsby”s quest for acceptance, we see him lying about is past and trying so hard to impress others. As readers, we all rooted for Gatsby and thus his dreams became ours. No matter how unreasonable a task is or how unattainable something or someone may be, one does not simply give up on the dream. He dreamed since he was a child but his dream became a quest for Daisy. Gatsby reached out for the green light, both literally and metaphorically. Nelson 4 Eventually Gatsby”s dream collapses and he is not prepared for it he still lives with n illusion. Well not for very long as we know.
In chapter 8, everything falls apart. Although the novel ending in tragedy, I don”t believe that we the readers have given up on the dream. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that”s no matter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning – And what, what happens one fine morning? The dream doses”t end. The dream continues to live even after the dreamer is gone. Just like the American Dream, people continue to seek out these ideals even after everything has seems to collapse.
The dream lives on and the green light forever shines in the distance. Work Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner’s, 1925. Print. “It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. ” (4) “His family were enormously wealthy. ” (6) “l felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.