Money And Wealth In The Great Gatsby

452 Words2 Pages
F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, tells the story of Jay Gatz and his life into the world of the social elite as he works to gain Daisy's love. Fitzgerald focuses on the change money and wealth, or lack thereof, can create in people. Throughout the novel, the geography represents part of this metaphorical message, each location representing a different social class and caste. Whether it be the East Egg's complacent luxury, the West Egg's rash extravagance, or the Valley of Ashes' decaying monotony, each area has its own particular characteristics. The East Egg, jutting off of New York, symbolizes unbelievable wealth, which seems to sink its possessors into apathy. Its inhabitants are generally of "old money", and seem unsure of what they should do with their life. Daisy, an East Egger, asks, "What do people plan?" (11). For many of those who live there, they plan nothing, but prefer "lying on that sofa as long as they can remember." (10) They also have an air of…show more content…
Wilson, its primary occupant, is described as "a blonde, spiritless man, anaemic..." (25) who is in the throes of despair. The land around it is gray and lifeless, as if it too had been sucked dry and left as refuse. Wilson has lost his will to fight, but rather fades into the background of his garage. His wife, Myrtle, still maintains her vitality, and is seen trying to escape the repressive atmosphere through money and glamour. Geography is very important in The Great Gatsby, both for its plot purposes and metaphor. Each location represents interwoven, but separate themes about the affects of money. The novel shows how it radically shapes the lives of those who have (the two "Eggs") or fail to have (the Valley of Ashes) wealth. But the novel also shows, through the examples of Gatsby and Myrtle, that money is not the only determining course of life, nor should it
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