In Chapter 3 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, describe quotations that lend themselves to the development, symbolism or allusion of the American Dream.

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lschertz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One passage that lends itself to the symbolic view of the American Dream occurs when Nick goes to Gatsby's first party.  He reports:

I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited - they went there" (p. 45)

This quote shows the need for fame and success within the American Dream.  It did not matter to Gatsby if he knew these people, only that they were there. He felt successful simply because many people were there.  The American Dream tells us we need others to view our success in order to be successful.

 A second quotation can used to discuss the idea that people who achieve the American Dream are symbolically alone. They are surrounded by many people, but no one really knows them or their story.

"A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell" (p. 60)

Gatsby is standing there, simply waving goodbye to everyone, even as there is a great commotion concerning a drunk man and his motor vehicle accident.  Gatsby is removed from these people; they are speaking with each other and making some attempt to care about or help the man.  Gatsby does not even notice; he is too busy saying goodbye and proving he is formal and a picture of the American Dream.  But he is left, bathed in light from the house, as a man standing alone with no one and nothing about once those guests - the majority of whom he does not even know - have left.

Both of these quotes symbolize to the American Dream and the negative impact it has on people.

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jameadows eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Here are some quotes from Chapter 3 that deal with the American Dream:

Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York—every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves.

Gatsby orders fresh citrus for his lavish parties. The piles of citrus are a sign of plenty and of the American Dream. They wind up pulped and split at the end of the weekend, a sign that the pleasures Gatsby desires are fleeting. The cut-up citrus is a sign of the way in which Gatsby's pursuit of the American Dream will wind up destroying him.

"This fella’s a regular Belasco. It’s a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop too—didn’t cut the pages."

The man with owl-eyed spectacles is speaking about Gatsby's library. He compares Gatsby to Belasco, a famous theatre producer, as Gatsby's library is entirely for show. Wanting to look like he has achieved the American Dream, Gatsby amasses an impressive library. However, he forgets to cut the pages of the books (which was required to read fine books in the past). This oversight means that he hasn't actually read the books. Therefore, Gatsby's uncut books are a symbol of the way he pursues the superficialities of looking rich and having achieved the American Dream without actually having done so.

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