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The Green Dream in the Great Gatsby

When was the last time you looked at something so hard, hoping you would get something out of it? Well, that’s what Gatsby does in this novel. In the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the green light to represent Gatsby’s longing for Daisy and the fact that the American Dream can not be achieved because of the structured class system. This book, it shows that you can not move up and down in class ranks. Once you are in one rank, then you stay in that one. Gatsby tries to move for Daisy, but really never does accomplish it.

Gatsby looks at the green light on Daisy’s dock representing his lost love for her. He yearns to see her once again. He tries to get to her through her cousin Nick. But Nick doesn’t realize this until later on in the book. His American Dream won’t let him in different class ranks. He is in one that at least he’s trying to be in is the higher rank. The one that he thinks Daisy wants. He throws a bunch of parties with a nice house to show off to Daisy hoping that should come. He would never actually come down to the party, he would look around to see if she appeared or not. “Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.” (pg. 41)

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Gatsby thought he achieved his American Dream because he met Daisy. Since he finally reunited with her, he thought he achieved it all. He thought that was why the green light went away. That’s not actually the reason why. He still hadn’t achieved the dream because his money wasn’t all real. “Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock, and from this position, his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy, who was sitting, frightened but graceful, on the edge of a stiff chair.” (pg. 87)

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The Class System in the Great Gatsby doesn’t have the “elevator” power. Such as it doesn’t let you move up and down in the different class ranks. So far in this book, Gatsby tries to be a higher class rank, which he cant do. He tries so much with the parties that he throws often. Trying to prove to Daisy that he’s in a higher class. Which obviously isn’t true. “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.” (pg. 99) No one person really knew his true identity, it was always lies, rumours, or gossip. They never knew how and where he got all of his money or anything. Also, they finally find out what his real name is after so many years. Gatsby had a secret identity which led him to want to be that, which he couldn’t because of the order of the class system.

So in conclusion, Gatsby’s American Dream is to be well-off (wealthy) but, it can’t come to be because of the class system. Not allowing him to move up and down, the “elevator” method. The green light is his yearn for Daisy, which provokes him to want to be wealthy with him showing it off at all of the parties and his home. “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–” (pg.182)

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The Green Dream in the Great Gatsby. (2021, Feb 27). Retrieved December 9, 2022, from