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Symbols of the American Dream - The Great Gatsby

            The American dream is a tacit promise given to all citizens in this country, which states that regardless of social class, any individual can aspire to new heights based upon the ideology of meritocracy. The American dream is a "recurring theme in American literature"(Pearson) and in American society. However, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's critically acclaimed novel, presents the American dream as an illusion which can never be achieved, and according to recent events in America, Fitzgerald is evidently correct. The personification of Daisy as the American Dream, the issue of meritocracy, Myrtle's death, the image of the green light, as well as the manner in which Gatsby is denied entry into the elite class, all represent the invalidity of the American Dream. This delusion of the American Dream is the paramount theme in The Great Gatsby, and it is the main message Fitzgerald attempts to convey in his saddening, but insightful novel. .
             Daisy is stupefying and elusive, a crucial character who represents the American Dream (appositive phrase); when Gatsby unsuccessfully attempts to woo Daisy back, this unveils the false promise of the American Dream. Gatsby was in love with Daisy a long time ago, and Daisy's parents disapproved of Gatsby since he didn't have "pomp and circumstance"(75), like Tom Buchanan, and as a result Gatsby reinvents himself by becoming a financially successful man. Fitzgerald purposely has Gatsby state that Daisy's "voice is full of money"(120), because it reveals that Gatsby has hope to woo and win back Daisy since he's affluent; however the irony of the situation is that Gatsby can attain material wealth, but he can't claim Daisy. Daisy has "an excitement in her voice that men who had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the net"(8). Here, Daisy herself is the American dream, since her voice causes excitement within men in the same manner in which the American Dream provokes excitement.

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