Comparison: Great Gatsby and the American Dream

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“The American Dream– That pursuit of a better existence and a higher quality of life through hard work, determination and devotion.” This was said by Benjamin Franklin, who coined the phrase American Dream. The Great Gatsby, by Scott Fitzgerald, is an exploration of the American Dream as it exists in a corrupt period of history. The main themes in the novel – hope, success, ignorance, disillusionment, wealth, and morals, reflect this society. Hope is represented by the light across the bay that Gatsby was focused on. It was the embodiment of his main goal in life, which was to win back Daisy. Gatsby is full of hope – even when it is obvious to us he has lost Daisy he still continues to hope. Success was shown by the way that Gatsby felt the only was to win back Daisy was through his money. He used a corrupt form of the American Dream to acquire the wealth he thinks he needs. He tried every way that money could buy to try to satisfy his love for Daisy. Instead of confronting her with his feelings, he tried to get her attention by throwing huge parties with the hopes that she would show up. Whilst initially Daisy was impressed by his wealth, she became disenchanted when she found out how he’d acquired it. This corruption is shown by the use of the colour yellow. Gatsby’s yellow car is the murder weapon that kills Myrtle, and the rich, flaky women at Gatsby’s parties

often wear yellow gowns. Ignorance was shown by the way the characters have very little self-knowledge and barely any knowledge of each other. Gatsby is extremely disillusioned, because he believes he can recreate the past and get back with Daisy even though she is married with a child. Throughout the book, even though it is obvious that his dream can never be realised, he refuses to accept reality. Colour is used to effectively enhance this idea. All of Gatsby’s parties are held at night, and are bright with false light. They are also filled with blue music, symbolizing romance and...
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