Essay about The Area Within The Valley Of Ashes

Essay about The Area Within The Valley Of Ashes

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When describing the buildings within the Valley of Ashes Fitzgerald mainly focusses on how the buildings are ‘unprosperous and bare’; the adjectives utilised depict images of abandonment and placidity, this is a metaphor for the peoples’ hope. It should be noted that there was a gross disparity between the upper and lower classes and this certainly exemplifies this, furthermore their hope is dwindling slowly through this ‘Valley of Ashes’; at this point it does seem as if this is the gateway to hell and as it is a liminal place this exemplifies this. Nevertheless, it can be argued that Wilson, Tom Buchanan’s contact within the Valley of Ashes, had achieved the American dream; ‘sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead’. One way of analysing the quotation is that Nick Carraway genuinely sympathises with the people of the ‘Valley of Ashes’ and draws parallels between his house compared to the other houses surrounding his in comparison to the Valley of Ashes versus East Egg. If he is stating it in this capacity Carraway is arguing that he, a person who moved east for better prospects, has been left in the same situation as the people of the Valley of Ashes. This does depict a hell as it portrays all of the inadequacies of the American dream and draws no positives. The alternate interpretation is that he genuinely views this Valley of Ashes as something that is akin to that of a breath of fresh air. The reader knows that Nick Carraway feels outcast and does not belong to any group of people. Therefore, he views the Valley of Ashes as an expression of himself; his conscience is a ‘Valley of Ashes’ and this describes why the imagery of the ‘romantic apartments’ are being ‘concealed’. From the offset Nick Carraway wants t...


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...e text the Valley of Ashes is the focal point of the destruction of Gatsby and Daisy where Daisy murders Myrtle; this is representative of hell as it represents how all of their hopes and dreams had been derailed and it marked the end of the façade of the American dream that Myrtle represented. For Fitzgerald to allow this to happen, he is representing how the blanket that had been cast over Carraway’s eyes had been lifted after the death of Myrtle. If, in fact, Myrtle was a metaphor for the American dream, when she is killed the blanket had been lifted and Carraway was able to realise more clearly overtime that he was able to do what he dreamed of, and not what America dreamed of. Therefore, the Valley of Ashes is representative of hell and the people within it represent the American dream that had a detrimental effect on the livelihood of America’s social climbers.

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