I'm trying to understand the end of Gatsby, and my friend told me that the end of Gatsby relates to the American dream. Can someone help me the analyze the end of Gatsby? What I have analyzed so far:

  • 'Gatsby's wonder' - I think this means how he was hoping to be with Daisy and was stuck on that idea (did he ever stop trying to be with her - if so, when)?

  • The last sentence's meaning: So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

  • The valley of ashes and how it relates to the American dream.

Are there other important ideas that I am missing in my analysis? If so, can someone guide me on the right path?

1 Answer 1


The green light on the other side of the lake symbolizes the american dream. He is separated from the other side by the large which represents the separation of class. Notice how Gatsby lives on the West Egg whereas all the old money folks live on the East Egg. The gap between the social statuses of Gatsby and Tom is what ensures that Gatsby, even though he is rich, will never be truly able to grasp the american dream.

  • Yeah, and the green light also represents Daisy simultaneously. His dream was daisy which like the American dream can never be achieved. I think I really get the authors message now, so thanks.
    – John D
    Oct 31, 2017 at 22:12

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