The Alley In The Great Gatsby

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In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick finds himself emerged in the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy residing in either the East Egg or the West Egg. Grasping to the glamor of both Eggs and dividing them is the Valley of Ashes. This valley is the paragon for poverty that perfectly separates two worlds with only the eyes of God watching over it. Though Nick, Daisy, Gatsby, or Tom are never unfortunate enough to live in this alley unlike the Wilsons, the alley plays an important role in all of their lives. The alley can be seen to represent an impecunious lifestyle, bare the consequences of the world around it, and also muffle the screams of the superficiality dwelling in the Eggs by representing a failed American Dream. Between the…show more content…
Upon his first conversation with Tom, Nick soon realizes that he is indeed a racist,“The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be-- will be utterly submerged” (Fitzgerald 17). Despite her natural inclination to disagree with Tom, Daisy is seen to nod her head in agreement- a peek of their true colors. Alongside this poor act, Tom is also unfaithful, rude, blunt, and drinks heavily. Though Daisy is better at hiding her nasty side, it is revealed that she too is conniving and is self interested as she stays with Tom due to his money and lets Gatsby’s reputation perish. Even though a fling occurs between Jordan Baker and Nick, he still mentions how she too has faults, “She was incurably honest” (Fitzgerald 63). Jay Gatsby himself often burdens Nick. With all of this said, throughout the novel, none of the residents of either of the Eggs face true consequence. It may be arguable that they do not escape with clean slates but it is easy to see that the Valley of Ashes absorbs the impacts of their misdoings. Dr. Eckleburg’s eyes are always glued to the lives of the residents as they watch the chaos unfold. These eyes can be interpreted as the eyes of a greater being silently making His judgements and aiding as He sees fit. The Eggs are then ungodly expanses therefore lacking ethics and “judgement”. As the novel concludes, we see the deaths of Myrtle, Gatsby, and George. Though Gatsby resided in the West Egg, he didn’t receive his proper consequence because he died before seeing Daisy love another man, the most excruciating pain that he could possibly feel. Tom and Myrtle were both guilty of adultery yet this only seems to strengthen his relationship with Daisy, “Daisy and tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table with a plate of cold fried chicken between them and two bottles of ale. He was talking intently across the table at her and
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