Explore the concept of ‘The American Dream’ in The Great Gatsby.
Perhaps, the green light may be connected with the idea of the well known ‘The American Dream’, the same dream that Willy Loman of Arthur Miller in The Death of a Salesman and many other American texts. It may not be out of context in the present day to connect the colour ‘green’ with many young people in India today who see America itself as a green light. They want to get away to the ‘green pastures’ by obtaining a ‘green card’ so that they can work as ‘computer coolies’ in America and become millionaires. This is the Indian version of ‘The American Dream’.Raleigh points out that Fitzgerald’s character Gatsby ‘as has often been said, represents the irony of American history and the corruption of the American dream.
While this certainly is true, yet even here, with this general legend, Fitzgerald has rung in his own characteristic changes, doubling and redoubling ironies. At the center of the legend proper there is the relationship between Europe and America and the ambiguous interaction between the contradictory impulses of Europe that led to the original settling of America and its subsequent development; mercantilism and idealism’ [p. 991 This takes us back to the Jamesian theme already referred to. However, a couple of quotations from the text make the reference to the green light quite clear.