35 Quotes About The American Dream From The Great Gatsby

Kidadl Team
Sep 19, 2023 By Kidadl Team
Originally Published on Aug 11, 2021
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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 one works 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.

Best 'The Great Gatsby' Quotes About The American Dream

Fitzgerald's depiction of the American dream is exemplified by Gatsby, who embodies the concept. Gatsby demonstrates how, despite having achieved the American ideal, he will never be satisfied since the American dream has no borders, and the seeker will always be seeking. Here are the best quotes from 'The Great Gatsby' about the American Dream, what it offers, and its reality.

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. ‘He was never quite still; there was always a tapping foot somewhere or the impatient opening and closing of a hand.’

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

3. 'A sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth.'

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

4. 'I distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far way. . . . When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished. . .'

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

5. ‘Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge.'

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

6. 'But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under the sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground.'

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

7. 'One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer
The rich get richer and the poor get – children.'

- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

8. 'It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.'

- 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

I pledge allegiance to the flag.

In the story, Jay Gatsby overcomes his impoverished background to amass an extraordinary amount of money and a small amount of social cache in '20s New York City, only to be rejected by the 'old money' society. He is then killed after becoming entangled with them. 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. ‘He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American.’

- 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. 'Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something.'

– 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. 'Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.'

- 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. 'The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.'

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

24. ‘Thirty--the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair.

– 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 that 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.

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.

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 is suffering.’

- Hedrick Smith.

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Written by Kidadl Team

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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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