The Importance of the Settings in Novels

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“It’s pretty, isn't it, old sport?”(Fitzgerald 53), hollow words that describe an era precisely. The Great Gatsby is a wonderfully depressing novel about a man who literally made a name for himself and died in search of the American Dream. It was set in the Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, a time about dynamic subcultures all around the world, and their grand art, social lives and music. This book is set by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the North East of the United States, New York, and Long Island known as West and East Egg. Setting is very crucial element in any novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the setting of The Great Gatsby in a very graceful manner. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald utilizes setting such as “The Valley of Ashes,” Gatsby's grand mansion, West and East Egg. Fitzgerald uses these settings to express, symbolize and represent the current state of society and help the reader peer into the soul of the great Gatsby. His motivation to do this is to show the flawed and misconceived connotations of society's morality at this time.

Although we spent little time here in the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald utilized “The Valley of the Ashes” to its fullest. In this novel “The Valley of Ashes” symbolizes a great number of issues of morality in this society. “The Valley of Ashes” was located between New York and the two Eggs. “The Valley of Ashes” is a barren wasteland made of the ashes of which were dumped there as a byproduct of various modern items and was polluting this area. Although the valley of ashes is treated as ““nowhere”, a place to be driven through on the way to “somewhere” by the characters from both East and West Egg.”(Angela D. Hickley 1), Fitzgerald riddles it with heavy symbolism. Fitzgerald uses “The Valley...

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... we do now of this history and this narrative, and this seem to be our warning that it is our job not to turn a blind eye towards the valley of the ashes nor continue with the overindulgence and further persist in this decaying of society. After all “Let us learn to show our friendship for a “man” when he is alive and not after he is dead.”(Fitzgerald)

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York: Scribner, 1996. Print

Hickey, Angela D. "The Great Gatsby." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

Morton-Mollo, Sherry. "The Great Gatsby." Cyclopedia Of Literary Places (2003): 1-2. Literary Reference Center. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

Sutton, Brian. "Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." Explicator 55.2 (1997): 94. Literary Reference Center. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.
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