Dreams and goals can never be fulfilled if they are never dreamt, and sometimes even those that are imagined and toiled for are lost along the way. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism to clarify Jay Gatsby's detachment with the American Dream. Gatsby is convinced that his path to happiness is lined with riches and popularity, although he will never find contentment by changing to fit the mold. Fitzgerald uses the rich to symbolize the destruction of a country and failure by its people.
The rich are best represented by Tom and Daisy Buchanan, who use their money and position in society to get what they want. Instead of having a purpose or goal they drift aimlessly day to day without ever being passionate about something they believe. Although Gatsby's dream is supported by false ideals, he at least has a purpose, a plan. The Buchanan's represent cowardice and corruption and ultimately lead to the ruin of Gatsby's dream. Gatsby admired and strove to be like this "upper" class without ever discovering how foolish and detestable it was to be one of them. Fitzgerald has the rich portrayed by loathsome people to foreshadow how Gatsby's dream will never be achieved, because of his faith in those who are hopeless.
Having sufficiently tainted the American Dream the rich left no course by which Gatsby could follow to his utopia with Daisy. By laboring to be like the rich and staying completely focused his goal, Gatsby was unable to comprehend the true horrible destination he was pointed towards.