East And West Egg In The Great Gatsby

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The next major symbols in The Great Gatsby are the East and West Egg, and the differences between them. Nick and Gatsby live in West Egg. It is not as luxurious as East Egg, Nick describes it as, “the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not little sinister contrast between them” (14). West Egg seems as though it is for the families and people who are newly wealthy, Gatsby for example, or young, as Nick has moved into a small house, with the “consoling proximity of millionaires - all for eighty dollars a month” (14). When comparing West Egg to East Egg, the reader is able to see what each island symbolizes, which helps to create depth in the novel. East Egg symbolizes the classy, upscale, always-had-money type of families. The Buchanan’s are an example of this, they…show more content…
Nick looks across the bay and sees “the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water” (14). This obviously shows the differences between East and West Egg. By comparing the two, it brings out the symbolism and really generates depth in the story.
The final symbol that adds depth and meaning to the novel is The Valley of Ashes, which is located between New York City and West Egg. It symbolizes poverty, and the population of Manhattan that is not rich and self indulged in their personal lives. The Valley of Ashes is described as a dumping ground, Nick even explains how it’s “bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour” (27). This is completely opposite to places like West Egg, where most of the novel is taken place. Everything is luxurious and fast paced, comparing these two places opens up many symbols in the reader's mind, like poverty and the fact that not every American at that time could live as Gatsby can, for instance.
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