The Loss of Hope in the American Dream
In the 1920’s people were living an extravagant lifestyle, full of parties, dancing, and music. Society craved more money and a way into a carefree living. Many books by F. Scott Fitzgerald were written with a setting during this time period. In the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the valley of ashes and the green light represent the American dream-the search for love and a better life, and the result when those dreams never come true.
The valley of ashes was a desolate place. A place filled with hopelessness and failed dreams. “This is a valley of ashes -- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the form of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (Fitzgerald 23). The valley of ashes represents the deterioration of morality and society of the wealthy as they pursue for more fortune with their reckless behavior and extravagant lifestyle. A result their dreams were no longer pure. The greed for more money became the only thing in mind and the American dream was lost.
The valley of ashes was filled with people who probably once had dreams of a life of success and happiness, but now live in the land of ashes and losing their vivacity as a result. For example, George Wilson. For others, the valley is like a prison, and a reminder that they will never be able to escape the ashes. George Wilson’s wife, Myrtle, longed for the life of the rich and famous. She believed that she made a mistake marrying George because he was below her. “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman...I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald 34). ‘“The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never even told me about...