How does F. Scott Fitzgerald portray the American Dream in The Great Gatsby through his use of symbolism and other literary devices? 

Fitzgerald uses a variety of literary devices and symbols to portray the illusory nature of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. One prominent symbol in the book is the the green light that represents Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for a life with Daisy. Another symbol is the Valley of the Ashes, which represents the ugly consequences of America’s obsession with wealth.

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Fitzgerald uses many different mediums to express his views on the "American Dream." In fact, the entire novel can be seen as a commentary on the subject. One symbolic way in which he shows his disenchantment with the "American Dream" is his stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots. East and West Egg are separated to show the difference between new and old money. Fitzgerald comments on the idea that the American Dream is a hoax and one must be born into money in order to reap the benefits. Gatsby, although rich on his own, will never be like Daisy or Tom. The vast lake symbolizes the vast separation between the classes, even if they intermingle at times. Also, the valley of ashes is described very differently from the other places in the novel. Literally "on the other side of the tracks," this place is described using dark colors and depressing imagery . This symbolizes the divide between the physically and metaphorically far-apart classes. The poor will never have what the wealthy...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1074 words.)

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