• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald.

Extracts from this document...


Jose Acosta September 26, 2003 AP English The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald aims to show that the myth of the American dream is fading away. The American values of brotherhood and peace have been eradicated and replaced with ideas of immediate prosperity and wealth. Fitzgerald feels that the dream is no longer experienced and that the dream has been perverted with greed and malice. The Great Gatsby parallels the dreams of America with the dream of Jay Gatsby in order to show the fallacies that lie in both of them. Fitzgerald reveals that both dreams are complete illusions. Those who follow the dream are manipulated into believing that they lead to true happiness when in fact they are lead to their demise. Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald illustrates his main themes through a perpetual use of a series of colors, specifically green. The color green has two main meanings in the novel. Fitzgerald uses the color green to symbolize Gatsby's hope in his quest to obtain Daisy, but also uses green to symbolize America's obsession with wealth during the 1920s, and in both examples, the novel illustrates that all the affiliates are lead to their inevitable downfall. "He [Jay Gatsby] stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and as far as I [Nick Carraway] was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. ...read more.


Throughout the novel Fitzgerald uses many other images or symbols. At first, it may seem very basic, but when the symbol is closely studied, one may see the deeper meaning found within it. Fitzgerald uses these symbols to make a point across to the reader. He then uses this point and converts it into a deeper meaning, into a myth about America. The green light mentioned in the novel clearly represents and is a prime example of this. The color green not only represents Gatsby's dream but also the dream of America that insinuated the possibility of prosperity for all Americans. The American Dream originated in the early days of the American settlement, with the mostly poor immigrants searching for opportunities. It was first manifested in the Declaration of Independence, which describes an attitude of hope. The Declaration of Independence states that "all man are created equal and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness". In The Great Gatsby, the color green symbolizes for importance of money during this era, not only in the life Gatsby where his motive is to win Daisy but also in the lives of all of Americans. Gatsby's home erected only to buttress the identity of Gatsby as a successful businessman is covered with "raw ivy" and sits on "more than forty acres of [green] lawn and garden." ...read more.


This depiction reaffirms Fitzgerald's main focus on announcing the death of the American dream. Neither dream that occurs in the novel has any validity to it. Both dreams had manifested themselves through the illusions concocted by the novel's characters. The American dream was "in effect [dead] July 5, 1922." The Great Gatsby depicts the destruction of two dreams, Gatsby's and also America's. Through the use of color symbolization, specifically green, Fitzgerald is able to show the relation between Gatsby's dream and also the American dream. As a result of this, the read is able to understand the major theme of the book more easily. The reader is able to make the connection and understand that Fitzgerald is aiming to falsify the legend of the American dream. Although Gatsby's achieves the dream, in the end, he is left dead and without the hope of winning Daisy's love. Both, Daisy and the American dream, are the objects of infatuation, and both are an illusion. As Fitzgerald illustrates the death of Gatsby's dream, he also announces the death of the American dream. The novel uses green to illustrate both dreams, yet by the conclusion of the novel, green is used to illustrate sickness and death, at which point Fitzgerald has used the color to make the transition between the idea of the dream to the idea of the reality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The Character of Daisy Buchanan in the novel "The Great Gatsby" by F.Scott Fitzgerald

    5 star(s)

    Given Gatsby's obsession with Daisy and the lengths to which he has gone to win her, she seems a worthy paramour. As the story continues, however, more of Daisy is revealed, and bit-by-bit she becomes less of an ideal. Given that she is fully aware of her husband's infidelities, why doesn't she do anything about it?

  2. Peer reviewed

    The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

    4 star(s)

    The Great Gatsby epitomizes Fitzgerald's skill in understanding the romantic. The most enduring symbol of the novel is Gatsby gazing out at the light at the end of Daisy's pier. This symbol could stand for the whole of Fitzgerald's life.

  1. How Has Fitzgerald Presented The Character Of Daisy In 'The Great Gatsby'?

    Fitzgerald's description of Daisy's appearance in the novel also changes slightly, revealing different sides of her character. In some parts of the novel she is described as having blonde hair when she says to her child "Did mother get powder on your old yellowy hair...She looks like me.

  2. "Gatsby is a Victim of the American Dream." Discuss Scott Fitzgerald's Portrayal of Gatsby ...

    This small descriptive part of the novel shows us just what Gatsby appears to be striving for, love. We see a normally bold, strong, gregarious man turn into a shivering wreck. Until this point it seems that Gatsby's only aim in life is to be wealthy and accepted as wealthy.

  1. 'He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream'. ...

    Whereas Gatsby's is about re-inventing himself as he sets time to 'practice elocution, poise and how to attain it'. He never takes time to reflect, perhaps because of a fear that he has achieved nothing. However, Gatsby's timetable does show his aspirations and desires and the fact that he idolised one of America's 'founding fathers'.

  2. Comparisons and Contrasts Between F.Scott Fitzgerald and Jay Gatsby ...

    He didn't have much money, just like Gatsby. So the girl turned him down when he was proposing to her, she said "rich girls don't marry poor boys". But Fitzgerald didn't give up on her because he was poor. He wrote a novel using the talent he possessed, and the people's reaction toward the novel was great.

  1. "The Great Gatsby" by F.Scott Fitzgerald

    because it was not acceptable to carry a gun around in your pocket for no reason. A gun was thought of as a "killing machine", but Nell only wanted it as comfort, the gun was her life from the time she left home.

  2. How is Gatsby presented to the reader in Chapter 4 in the novel "The ...

    Gatsby is the proud owner of a ?rich cream color, bright with nickel? Rolls-Royce. It advertises his status in society and how well he has achieved the American Dream. The cream colour of the car, along with the bright nickel connotes a calm, sophisticated albeit opulent atmosphere that Gatsby so incessantly wishes to be associated with his name.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work