How does chapter 7 in "The Great Gatsby" tie in with the American Dream?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 7, we have one of the major climaxes of the story.  The relationship between Daisy and Jay comes out in the open during the scene at the hotel in New York City and then with the accident and Myrtle's death.  The "American Dream" was that anyone could rise above his humble beginnings to live a happy and wealthy life.  Jay Gatsby had that dream from his youth as evidenced by what he wrote in his book that his father tells Nick about in chapter 9.  He achieved the wealth part of the dream but he never achieved happiness because his dream was out of reach.  He wanted the Daisy of his past, not the Daisy of his present and that was an impossible dream.  In chapter 7, during the confrontation with Tom, it becomes obvious that Daisy is not ever going to leave Tom for Jay.  When Daisy says that she did love Tom at one time, Jay's dream is shattered because that proves that the intervening years between Jay's and Daisy's first meeting and the present, took place and changed Daisy.  Jay wanted the Daisy of his past and she no longer exists.  Myrtle, too, had her American Dream of wealth.  Her dream died along with her even though everyone but her knew her dream would never come true.  The wedding that is taking place in the hotel in that chapter also represents the American Dream - a man and woman are beginning their journey toward a happy life together.

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The Great Gatsby

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