In the beginning of the novel, Nick establishes residence in one “of the two formations of land” which “extends itself due east of New York” (4). These land configurations resemble “a pair of enormous eggs” and are consequently referred to as East Egg and West Egg (4). Each society is characterized by the distinct origins of the wealth of their inhabitants. East Egg is based on familial wealth, and therefore values a prestigious family name. Despite being “fashionable” and glitzy, East Egg becomes notorious for harboring bullies as represented by Tom and Daisy Buchanan (5). Physically, Tom is “enormous” and powerful, which translates into his internal psyche (7). He is portrayed as cruel and unthinking throughout the novel, later causing murder by blaming Myrtle’s death on Gatsby, thereby compelling Wilson...
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... inhabitants to symbolize the corrupt nature of the pursuit of wealth as well as artificiality. Both West and East Egg hide their flaws beneath glamour and extravagance, connected in their artificiality despite distinct differences in the origins of their money. The valley of the ashes is a symbol of the corrupt nature of wealth and its accumulation, relentlessly under the watchful eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, or God himself. New York City veils its corruption and shady criminals under an atmosphere of chaos and restiveness, artificially hiding the moral decomposition at its core. All in all, the geography of The Great Gatsby significantly illustrates the decay of America’s central values; symbolizing that the American dream is more than the accumulation of wealth and prestige.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.
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