The Valley In The Great Gatsby

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Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s house in East Egg is situated directly across the bay from Jay Gatsby’s house in West Egg. This location is significant because it not only places Gatsby’s house in a position that Daisy would care too little about to notice, but also allows Gatsby to constantly be able to observe the house while silently pining for Daisy. In the first chapter of the novel, Daisy becomes fiercely inquisitive at the mention of Gatsby’s name during her dinner party, but quite quickly abandons her interest. This line demonstrates that, although he is in the perfect position for her to notice him, she does not care enough about those in West Egg to glance across the bay. Conversely, the same night of the dinner party, Nick observed as Gatsby…show more content…
Within the valley, there is little of note other than a decrepit billboard and a dilapidated garage. Fitzgerald placed these derelict structures in the valley to portray his view that the American Dream has been tarnished. This powerful message lends the valley an aura of depth and significance. Despite this importance, though, this dull and foreboding location is a land alienated from both itself and its surroundings. The detachment that has permeated the region allows for the unconcerned and neglectful acts, such as Myrtle’s murder, of the East Egg inhabitants to transpire without being noticed in detail by those living there. The Valley of Ashes provides an impeccable stage for the major trials of the novel, and lacking it, the events would not have such a penetrating impression on the…show more content…
They are “blue and gigantic – their retinas are one yard high” (Fitzgerald 27), and constantly stare down at the motor road through a faceless “pair of enormous yellow spectacles” (Fitzgerald 27). Fitzgerald uses this billboard as a representation of the all-seeing eyes of God. Although the eyes are not able to truly see, they impart the sensation that one is relentlessly being scrutinized and judged for their actions. The billboard assumes a major role in the eighth chapter of the novel when George Wilson attempts to use it to persuade Myrtle that her adulterous acts are immoral, and that God, through the eyes of T.J Eckleberg, is inspecting her. Without the billboard to inspire Wilson to pester Myrtle, she would not have escaped her home and been crushed beneath Gatsby’s lethal

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