35 Quotes About The American Dream From The Great Gatsby

Quotes about the American dream are thought-provoking.

Everyone wants success and happiness in life.

We are always on the lookout for every opportunity that would set our lives right for the better. This is what the American dream is all about.

It is the hope that one would achieve success if they think and work for it. The perfect idea of happiness through earning lots of money and achieving everything you can think of. 'The Great Gatsby' is a book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald on the idea of this American dream. Gatsby says one is free to achieve and get everything if they work hard. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, believes that it is a cruel mistress that makes you materialistic. You might be free to think of yourself as a success, but you will never be happy because you are constantly chasing what you want instead of letting it come to you. This is ironic as the concept of the American dream is extremely attractive. Find below quotes from the book and by others about the American dream and the difference in social class.

For more quotes, check out Jay Gatsby quotes and Daisy Buchanan quotes.

Best 'The Great Gatsby' Quotes About The American Dream

American Dream quotes make you want to pursue the dream.

Here are the best quotes from 'The Great Gatsby' about the American Dream, what it offers, and the reality of it.

1. "We drew in deep breaths . . . as we walked back . . . through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour, before we melted indistinguishably into it again."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

2. "Victorian novelist would have brought to topics such as religious nonconformity or the rising middle classes. He takes leisure seriously because it represents a monumental theme: the diminution and eventual corruption of American idealism the American Dream."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

3. "American Dream is the continuous desire for better, it is impossible to fully grasp."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

4. "America itself is produced out of the dreams of the first discoverers."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

5. "It sounds like all the rich people send their kids off East to prep school. What is it about the East in comparison to the West? Are the two regions really that different?"

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

6. "Because of his mind building her up into unrealistic expectations, he can never be happy with her, and will continue to move forward and seek the next accomplishment: the next thing he believes will make him happy."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

7. "For, although this is United States of America, it is also a society marked by class and racial divisions."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

8. "Gatsby's main goal in life, and by extension, America's main goal, which is to always achieve more, rather than be satisfied with what they have."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

9. "Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elation of men."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

10. "Why they came East I don't know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

11. "In the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Popular 'The Great Gatsby' Quotes

American dream quotes from this book are motivational.

It is said that money can make or even break a country. Here are some popular American dream quotes from the book.

12. "His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

13. "Gatsby is one version of America—the resourceful, athletic, restless young nation striving to make itself better."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

14. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

15. "If that was true, he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

16. "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

17. "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

18. "Rather than reaching for materialism, one should focus on more important things such as relationships, that will bring true happiness."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

19. "A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

20. "He left, feeling that if he had searched harder, he might have found her - that he was leaving her behind. The day-coach - he was penniless now!"

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

21. "The problem is, America as Nick sees it isn't ideal anymore. It's beaten down, like George Wilson; or it's rich and careless, like Tom."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

22. "No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

23. "Those who pursue the American Dream believe that no matter how much they accomplish, there is always something better to strive for."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

24. "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

25. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together. I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Other American Dream Quotes

This book by F. Scott Fitzgerald sent ripples through the United States, questioning if the dream was just a new fallacy. These American dream quotes and 'who stole the American dream' quotes show the concept in a new light.

26. "I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

27. "The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."

- George Carlin.

28. "The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."

- James Truslow Adams, 'The Epic Of America'.

29. "The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there."

- Bill Rancic.

30. "The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches - with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone - was once at the core of the American Dream."

- Robert Reich.

31. "I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed."

- Howard Zinn.

32. "It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order"

- James Truslow Adams, 'The Epic Of America'.

33. "You can dream the American Dream But you sleep with the lights on. And wake up with a scream".

- Warren Zevon.

34. "The promise of the American Dream requires that we are all provided an equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to our nation."

- Charles B. Rangel.

35. "We are literally Two Americas, remarkably out of touch with each other— the fortunate living the American Dream but lacking any practical comprehension of how the other half are suffering."

- Hedrick Smith, 'Who Stole The American Dream?'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for American dream quotes then why not take a look at [quotes from 'Frankenstein'] and [quotes from 'Gone with the Wind'].


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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