In today's society, many people look forward to being successful in life, therefore goals and standards are set in order to achieve their dreams. Some may have higher expectations than others, but no matter how high they, each and every person must take a step at a time in order to accomplish their dream. "The Great Gatsby", a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald uses point of view, and symbolism to represent the American Dream and the downfall of those who attempt to reach such illusory goals. In this case, Jay Gatsby, the central figure of the story, is one character who longs for the past. In order to achieve his goal, he must reach into the past and relive an old dream, which requires wealth and power that creates happiness.
Point of view is presentable throughout the entire novel. "The Great Gatsby" is being told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, Daisy's cousin, who moves into New York City making a living while selling bonds. Nick compares his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, to the city itself as being very diverse. "Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy of bay, just out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere, the great barnyard of Long Island Sound" (Fitzgerald 9). By writing from Nick's point of view, Fitzgerald is able to make Gatsby more realistic than he could have by presenting Gatsby through the eyes of an omniscient narrator. The use of the limited first person point of view gives not only the character of Gatsby but the whole novel a greater air of realism. He is also able to make Gatsby a more sympathetic character because of Nick's decision to become Gatsby's friend. By viewing the plot through the eyes of Nick also presents certain limitations, meanwhile providing a relationship of the tone and message of the novel as a whole.
Fitzgerald also uses symbolism to represent the American Dream.