An unmistakable symbol used to depict the American Dream, as well as its demise, is the green light at the end of Daisy's dock in East Egg. It is Gatsby's inspiration and his aspiration--the unattainable dream. When he was poor, Daisy could not marry him, so he worked hard and achieved the epitome of the American Dream. He literally recreated himself from virtually nothing, he made a lot of money (through illegal means, though no one seems to care much about that), and he surrounded himself with the material possessions which he thinks will entice Daisy to be with him. Nick philosophically compares the green light to the Pilgrims seeing America for the first time.