Valley Of Ashes Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Symbolism is used by Fitzgerald to represent moral abandonment in key characters in the novel. The Valley of Ashes is a stop-off point between New York City and West Egg, where the reader is first introduced to Tom Buchannan’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. As well as being the place where Myrtle and Tom’s affair takes place the valley of ashes is also where Myrtle Wilson is killed when hit by Gatsby’s car and where George Wilson has the idea to murder Gatsby, the valley of ashes symbolizes a moral waste land or as Nick describes as a place where dirty deeds are done and then covered up “… and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.” (Fitzgerald,
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