The Green Dream (Analysis of Symbolism within The Great Gatsby)

Topics: The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby / Pages: 3 (979 words) / Published: Mar 10th, 2015
The Green Dream (Great Gatsby Essay)
What is the “American Dream”? Is it tangible or metaphysical? Is it attainable or forever out of our reach? Is it a capitalist plot to keep the proletariat in their place? I am sure I do not know exactly, but noteworthy novelist, F. Scott Fitzgerald, has an interesting take on the idea. In his novel, The Great Gatsby, he satirizes the American Dream so well through the usage of imagery and symbolism that the reader often finds themselves drifting indolently towards oblivion in the tempest that is his skillfully weaved, romantic prose. Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is told through first person by Yale graduate, Nick Carraway, who moves to the East Coast from his hometown in the Midwest to be a bond salesman. The story centers on his summer experience in Long Island, where he reunites with his affluent, distant relatives and meets the fabulously wealthy yet mysterious character, Jay Gatsby. As the story progresses and Nick gets to know Gatsby, it becomes clear that Gatsby, having known her before, is “in love” with his cousin, Daisy, who is already married to her husband, Tom, who happens to be cheating on her. Nick reintroduces her to Gatsby, and they begin an affair. This leads to all sorts of trouble later, as more characters get involved in the conflict, which ultimately leads to Gatsby’s doom. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald strategically places subtle breadcrumbs of symbols which add to the theme of the American Dream. For example, when Nick first met Gatsby, “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way,” (Fitzgerald, 20) at a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. After Nick finds out that Gatsby is in love with Daisy, the reader realizes that the light is symbolic for Daisy and all that Gatsby would do for her. The light is also symbolic for the American Dream, in that Daisy is Gatsby’s idea of the American Dream, which, like Daisy, remains forever unattainable. Additionally, Fitzgerald

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