Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalk really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees – he could climb it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby. Chapter 6, the ladder is a symbol of success and also the climb to reaching the American Dream. Gatsby can only climb the ladder alone if he wants to fulfil his dreams. He must choose between whether he wants love or success. But he tries to achieve both and this ends with his destruction later on.