Why Is West Egg Important In The Great Gatsby

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Where one settles and decides their surroundings shapes who they become and who they are. It determines morals, values, and beliefs all while shaping one’s character. Occasionally, one’s address is determined by wealth, which for centuries, has divided people into separate categories and class systems. This idea of surroundings forming and molding an individual, was included in The Great Gatsby, for Fitzgerald uses the various settings to carefully illustrate how wealth positively and negatively affects individuals' lives in the roaring 20’s and the traits it reveals about each character. East Egg and West Egg are both known as a residence for the socially elite and affluent of the east coast, but possess differences that separate the characteristics …show more content…

Nick immigrated to the east from the Midwest, two exceedingly different settings with different values and ideals. The Midwest represented a wholesome, simple, yet fulfilled life to Nick, “...my Middle West – not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth…” (Fitzgerald, 176). This quote shows how just a memory of the Midwest had brought him joy, while his whole stay on the east coast was not as pleasing, actually shattering his optimal ideas he had of the east. Nearing the end of the novel, Nick begins to realize how much disregard east coast citizens have towards others. After Gatsby’s unfortunate death, Nick is only one of a few acquaintances to make an appearance at his funeral (Fitzgerald, 174). It is then that it dawns on Nick that east siders are selfish and only focused on protecting and furthering themselves. If it doesn’t concern them, then they certainly do not care. Klipspringer, a ‘friend’ of Gatsby, did not attend the funeral, yet selfishly wanted his tennis shoes sent back to him that were once left at the mansion (Fitzgerald, 169). This displays that Fitzgerald was interpreting the men like Gatsby and Nick to be more honorable because they were not accustomed to the cruel, cutthroat ways of the east …show more content…

It is described as a flat, grey place, with people who are just the same (Fitzgerald, 23). As a passageway into the city, it’s as if it represents the beginning stages of the american dream, those who start with nothing and desperately want a way to leave. Yet, the people who live in The Valley of Ashes are stuck there, forgotten and left behind by the rise of the idealization of the American Dream, showing the real impossibility of reaching it. George Wilson and his wife, Myrtle Wilson’s character is based around the idea that they live in the bleak area. Similar to the dreams they had once fantasized about, their marriage had dwindled and died in the Valley of Ashes. This sparked an affair between Myrtle and Tom, which eventually led to the downfall of Gatsby and her husband, George. The depressing state and madness of the situation had gotten to George, finally realizing that he had lost everything and giving up on the American Dream, he decided to destroy who he believed had done the same to his marriage. This madness can be attributed to the failure he had endured while living in the Valley. It began to define who he was and others, such as Tom belittled and patronized him for it (Fitzgerald, 25). His surroundings directly led to his downward spiral and overall his death, showing how being a failed, lower

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