Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby examines the 1920s vision of the American dream. It shows how the American dream is corrupted by wealth and power. Gatsby is a firm believer in the American dream of self-made success. He has achieved this dream, but he also has a dream of being with Daisy. Gatsby is successful, but his success is through new money. There is a difference between old money and new money. The people with old money give no respect to the people with the new money. This is shown by Tom calling Gatsby's car a "circus wagon" (128). The social flaw of being new money imprisoned Gatsby on an emotional island. The novel uses a major literary theme to show hidden meaning. The technique of symbolism is included into the novel. The author uses symbolism by showing how the American dream can be corrupted by wealthy people with little or no morals. Fitzgerald incorporates three symbols to prove this; they are the green light at the end of the Buchanan's dock, the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, and the valley of ashes. .
At the end of the Buchanan's dock was a "single green light" that Gatsby reached toward (26). Green is a color that represents promise, hope, and renewal. This green light symbolizes Gatsby's hope that the present will change to that of a great future, one where dreams come true and the where American dream is realized. His most important dream is his longing for Daisy. As Sulton said, "At this point in the novel, Gatsby can only reach longingly, from a distance toward a light he associates with his former lover." Gatsby's also sees the green light as a symbol of immense possibilities. Gatsby uses Nick Carraway as a window to the desperately needed green light. Nick is used as a gateway to Gatsby's goal, Daisy. Gatsby has spent his whole life longing for something better. The green light stands for all of Gatsby's hopes and desires. Everyone has something that they long and search for that is just off in the distance.