Great Gatsby Disillusionment with the American Dream
The American Dream was an important theme in the book, The Great Gatsby. Every single character was somewhat involved or motivated by the American Dream vision. In the Great Gatsby, American Dream symbolized the “freedom and opportunity to better yourself and your situation. Characters had different ideas of going through the American Dream. Gatsby loved money, reinvention, and the American Dream. He planned to reinvent himself for a woman that was put on such a high pedestal, that when brought down, his world had become something of an illusion. Daisy became a sort of goal, a symbol for wealth, that he basically makes her lose her humanity in his eyes. A sort of paradigm in which she was an object, when he won her it meant he was what he always wanted to be. By the end, the real shocker that brought him back to earth, that made him realize Daisy was an actual human, was seeing Patricia, Daisy’s daughter. Another character that symbolized the American Dream was Myrtle. Her only goal was to better her situation, such as being very materialistic and greedy. She decided to have an affair with one of the most unavailable and wealthiest men in the city. She was in the “relationship” not because of love or lust, but because of money. Someone that symbolized the American Dream in a positive way was Nick. He was from a family of old money yet he was willing to give up his family money and work hard. Nick wanted to build up his old name. Money was never very important to him as it was for the others. He actually understands how the American Dream corrupts the minds of all trying to achieve it. Nick was disillusioned with the American Dream by seeing how it immorally unethical it was. Yellow (such as silver and gold) that means corruption wealth and dishonest and white that means façade and pure are colors that represent an egg which is a major symbol in the Great Gatsby. A theme of Self-Discovery and Intolerance was directly directed to Nick. He knew he wanted to find himself and create his name not live off of what his family has. The theme of the green light represented Gatsby’s hope, renewal and rebirth of this new relationship with Daisy. Gatsby’s motivation to move forward and better his situation just to be with Daisy starts with that green light. It basically just means plain wealth to him. Red was a symbol connected to Nick because he is the only one that does not think corruptly. Red symbolizes death in which Nick has seen people’s true self die out because of the American Dream.