Although the roots of the American Dream are founded on opportunity for all, it has become an inaccessible illusion for most. John Steinbeck’s novella “Of mice and men” explores the….
The Undefined American Dream
11373 Spicy Cashews English 3 20 May 2008 The Undefined American Dream: Character Analysis in the Great Gatsby “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And one fine morning [… ] So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. ”(172). Nick is the narrator of the novel and analyzes how each character struggles to achieve the American Dream. Gatsby living in the less fashionable side of town moves to the best side of town.
Nick and Gatsby just came out of the World War I and are trying to build a better life for themselves. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the characters of Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby to exemplify false hope that the American Dream is often unfulfill. First of all Nick, the narrator, sees how each character unfolds themselves and how he, himself, is not pulls into the “American Dream”. Nick’s environment is not like the rest of the people he knows, “I liked at West Egg the well the less fashionable of two” (5). The West Egg is considers to be inexpensive and simply the wrong place to be.
Since it is low class environment, no one ever has money and it is dirty all the time, unlike the white houses I n the East Egg. Many people who live in the West Egg want to move to the East Egg as that is the “American Dream. ” Nick observes how so many people think they will have a better life. Citizens from the West Egg are moving with false hope will be happier living over in the East Egg and having, supposedly, the life they should have. Secondly, Nick is being pulls into the life he least wants, “Oh I’ll stay in the East Egg do not you worry” […] I’d be two God damm fool to live any where else” (10).
While Daisy tries to persuade him to live a different life he does not want fall into it so easily. He observes and knows that it is not the best choice to live over the East Egg. Gatsby knows he would be unhappy living in a society that really does not want him. He knows he should not live there because if he lives there he knows he will not belong. Lastly, one of the observations that he makes when preserving his friends, Gatsby, after his death, “I have an idea that Gatsby did not believe it […] he had lost old warm world paid a high price for living too long with a single dream” (161).
Gatsby wants a life he can not have and therefore will pay a price, costing him his life. Nick observes Gatsby a lot because he uses to live in the West Egg and moves to the East believing it can be the best life he will possibly get but it is all a complete lie and does not gain everything from it. Gatsbys false hopes develop through the novel and show how much he wants to live the life he cannot have. Daisy’s obsession to be on top of the world is fuel with greed and her materialistic attitude in life. Therefore, Gatsby wants Daisy so much that. “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay” (26).
Gatsby loves Daisy so much and misses her, that he just has to buy the house and he does. Gatsby’s dream of Daisy is corrupt by money and dishonesty, the American Dream of happiness. Daisy thinks too much upon herself and not on how others may react to her judgment. Gatsby is in love with Daisy and knows she loves him back but she wants wealth in her life and so she has to marry Tom, to achieve that Dream. Furthermore, Gatsby and Daisy are together looking out the window, “‘If it was not for the mist we could have seen your home across the bay,’ you always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock. ’ (92). The green light is symbolic because it symbolizes hope and that some day he might get the love of his life, Daisy, back. Daisy knows she has everything and wants everything, if she can she will be on the top of the world. Looking out the window is just an obvious understandment of the obsession of other men having towards her and she absolutely loves that. To end, Daisy has so many men in love with her, “with every word she was drawing further into herself so he gave that up- and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away——–room” (134).
Daisy has let down Tom she only ever thought about herself and on no one else. She is greedy for the American Dream and does not want to share it with anyone. Knowing Tom is rich and wealthy she has to marry him, for the money of course, she sacrifices everything so she will be able to achieve the American dream that so many people want. Daisy’s obsession hurts her at the end by committing a crime and making poor decisions to achieve her dream. Lastly, Gatsby’s American Dream is unfulfills; he concentrates on false hopes and materialism. Firstly, Nick introduces Gatsby in the novel. Gatsby turned out alright at the end, it was preyed on Gatsby, what fool dust floated in the wake dream of his dreams and temporarily closed out my interest. ”(44) Gatsby is fills with a single dream and that is to get out of West Egg and move to the East. He buys the nicest house, car, everything because he thought that would make him happy but it does not, it destroys him even more. He has his own little fantasy of what he thinks is expects from him and to get his one true love back, Daisy. Therefore, Nick is stating a fact after Gatsby’s death about how he has hope for Daisy return. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year recedes before us. He eluded us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster stretch out our arms farther[…] and then one fine morning-so we beat on, boasts against current , borne back ceasly into the past. ”(173). The green light represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams with Daisy in the future after coming back from the war the light is away to guide him into Daisy’s heart and a sense of goal that he has. He has to be able but as it turns out he will not.
He will not grasp with the moment of being with Daisy once again. Thirdly, Nick is talking to Gatsby’s closest friend [Wolshiem] “‘when a man gets killed I never like to get mixed up in it any way I keep out, when I was a young man it was different […] I stuck to them to the end […] let us learn to show friendship for a man when he is alive and after he is dead”’ (171). Mr. Wolshiem does not want to talk in his funeral but Nick tries to convince him by telling him he is his closest friend and the only one that truly knows him but refuses to take part in ant way.
Gatsby is remembrance will always be taunts by those who said they were his friends. Gatsby’s struggles to have the American Dream end his life. All in all, in the novel The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald emphasizes the belief that the American Dream is an unfulfill dream which is shown by the characters of Nick, Daisy and Gatsby, through materialism and greed. After being kills for the dream, as Gatsby does, none of the characters accomplishes anything at all. A society where greed is present is only going to destroy each character one by one and drive them into a circle of what they believe is true.