“He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night” (182). Gatsby’s empty pursuit of Daisy as the American Dream is similar to many American’s chase – often following the flash of money but frequently ending up This is seen through the tragic form of Jay Gatsby, who stares each night at the small green light at the end of her East Egg pier as a beacon of hope, love and promise. Watching Gatsby upon his first view of the man, Nick describes the way in which Gatsby “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 faraway, that might have been the end of a dock” (21-22). Eventually, Nick discovers that this green light is, indeed, at the end of Daisy’s dock and, as he gets to know Gatsby a little better, realizes the hope and the dream that Gatsby associates with Daisy. This light belonging to Daisy further reflects that old American dream, always just out of reach, always a little brighter than reality and always a little different from what one might have been expecting. This association is brought forward by Nick in Chapter 9 when he mentions “a fresh, green breast of the new world” (182) that opened its doors for. American Dream Exposed in The Great Gatsby.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1925.
The Great Gatsby Essay format sheet
Thesis: In the character of Daisy, who symbolizes the American Dream itself, and Gatsby who pursues her, one can see the innocence of America as well as its fickle, inconsistent nature that changes as quickly as the views of those around her change.
Topic A: In the story, the character Jay Gatsby’s only real goal in life is to win back the only girl he ever loved, Daisy, which is a direct image of the pursuit of the American Dream.
i) American Dream can be reached by amassing money
ii) Seems to work as dreams start coming true
iii) Can’t be achieved by money alone – quote from Nick
Topic B: However unearned, Daisy is associated with the American Dream through the color green like money.
i) Green light is the goal to get to Daisy
ii) Green is the color associated with American freedom
iii) The light does not guarantee anything
Topic C: When Daisy first appears in the novel, she does so in a flowing white dress, such that the reader sees a clean slate, a blank canvas and a picture of innocence which is how many people choose to see America.
i) Colorless appearance hints at prosperity but also lack of character
ii) Ethereal impressions as the wind moves them
iii) Shiftless, purposeless
Topic D: Daisy is seen as the perfect example of the American high society ideal.
i) Background and wealth
ii) Lost any sense of self
iii) Careless in dealing with others
Conclusion: Daisy becomes a symbol for the changing nature of the American dream following the war as can be seen in the symbols that become associated with her.
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