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The Idea of Having an American Dream in The Great Gatsby Novel

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In the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, achieving dreams is an important motivation for many characters throughout the book, specifically achieving the American Dream. The idea of having an American Dream was a huge motivation for Jay Gatsby, but it unfortunately led him to his demise. 

The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of race, class, gender, or nationality, can be successful in America if they just work hard enough. Gatsby tried to build his American Dream the traditional way, but because of him losing his inheritance, he got a lot of his money from crime. This allowed him to gain his need for wealth. For example, “But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone–he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far way, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness”. Gatsby is reaching towards a green light that is in sight but hard to get. 

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The green light can be representing Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. Also in the novel it says, “He was a son of God–a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that–and he must be about His Father’s business,the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end”. Jay Gatsby has a blown-up personality. If he remained in North Dakota being a poor farmer, he would have been unhappy and would have never gotten the chance to create the American Dream he always wanted to have. Finally, “His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete”. 

Gatsby’s dreams are all uncertain. He lost everything because he wanted Daisy back. His success didn’t last. People are always reaching towards things that are just out of reach. Gatsby is a dreamer, he came from a poor farm family and raised up to be very rich. He did it all by himself, not like the people that are born with money and don’t have to strive for anything in life. He had a dream, that at the end it all went away.                    

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