A dreams no matter how far away or

Topics: ArtSymbolism


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Last updated: July 15, 2019

A dream is a deep ambition and desire for something.

Many try to reach their dreams no matter how far away or difficult they seem. In “The Great Gatsby”, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes about the American Dream every character has but can never achieve. He uses color symbolism to illustrate his idea that the dream is literally unattainable.  The dream is so unattainable because of both the disadvantages of being on the lower end of the social ladder, as well as the restrictions of being on the higher end; that no matter where you are in wealth or social status, there will always be a barrier in the way of success. Fitzgerald uses symbolism to emphasize the divide between social classes in the 1920’s, ultimately revealing that the American Dream is no more than an unachievable desire.     In the novel, Gatsby reaches for the green light, revealing that you can strive to get there, but will never fully achieve the American Dream.

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There’s an obvious message that the American Dream is an illusion. That no matter how much you chase the green light or American Dream, it will forever be out of reach. Gatsby finds Daisy but their reunion is short-lived. He has to maintain his own fantasy of her to make sense of his life because of the divide in social classes that separated them in the first place.

But that light he was chasing, he was just that, chasing, and was as always, never reached. It was never worth it for him and was “just a green light on a dock” since the very beginning. He hasn’t noticed this since his reunion with Daisy and believed that its significance had vanished because of how close he felt to her. But yet, that light still hadn’t been reached, and unfortunately never would.    In “The Great Gatsby”, Fitzgerald uses the color white to symbolize privilege and old money, proving that even at the likes of wealth and privilege, the American Dream can never really be obtained. Many believe in the idea that money can buy everything, and that isn’t reality.

Money can buy materialistic things, but there are other things such as the time, love, and the American Dream that can’t and will never be able to be bought. Fitzgerald uses the color white to symbolize purity, innocence, as well as old money and privilege. Fitzgerald once says in the novel that “It was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it… high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl ….     

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