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Essay on Metaphors in 'The Great Gatsby'

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The Great Gatsby was written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald back in 1925. It continues to be one of the most studied novels in the modern world. It discusses themes such as the wealth of the ‘old money’ society, segregation, and the illusion of the American Dream. Gatsby was a young man who ran to accomplish astonishing wealth. Despite his more insignificant than prestigious history, he is still repudiated by those who were born in money. Addressing Gatsby’s example, this event becomes evident that one’s longing to realize the American Dream. It also applies to high society as unprofitable because no matter how hard one works, it is impossible to reveal society’s foundations.

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The American Dream was defined by James Truslow Adams, as the dream of a land in which life should be better, richer, and fuller for everyone with opportunities each according to ability and achievement regardless of circumstances birth, or position. The idea of the American Dream became a staple part of the 1920s and it fueled Gatsby in everything he did, specifically in his wish to claim Daisy; however, we humans will never be satisfied. Socrates was quite right when he said, “He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Gatsby escaped from the poverty of North Dakota and became rich just like many individuals who were involved in organized crime during this period. But despite having all this, Gatsby stretched his arm out towards the dock light, towards what he does not have. In all his wealth Nick cannot understand why Gatsby is acting so strange that he says “I could have sworn he was trembling” this implies some hesitancy; Nick cannot imagine why somebody with so much would be stretching out towards the dark water. The reason is that Gatsby still needs Daisy. When he finally does get her, as Socrates observed, “He still isn't content, and he needs her to admit that she even loved him.” At first, Daisy tries to say that she never did love her husband but realized that this is not the case and her hesitancy to hurt Tom in this way suggests that she still does have feelings for him. Gatsby is the withering of the American Dream and Nick imagines Gatsby finally giving up moments before his death. This scene is observed by Nick when Gatsby's body as it floats in the pool.

The Great Gatsby is an excellent novel that acts as a metaphor for how the American Dream is an idealized, unachievable idea. Gatsby has defeated various difficulties while gaining wealth and joining the high society, assuming he would impress and gain love from Daisy. Nonetheless, in the end, Daisy chose to stay with her husband, who is an old-money spokesperson. After Gatsby’s death, only several people visited his funeral. Despite his acting success, Great Gatsby failed in acquiring and living the low social class life that he was born into. Through this, the novel provides American Dream judgments, it also assumes that such a glamorized opinion cannot be achieved in real life.

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Essay on Metaphors in ‘The Great Gatsby’. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Essay on Metaphors in ‘The Great Gatsby’.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023,
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