Discuss the role played by the Valley of the Ashes. In The Great Gatsby, the Valley of the Ashes illustrate the inequality between its inhabitants and that of West Egg and East Egg, in terms of social standing and income, as well as the hopelessness of poverty resulting from the inability of its inhabitants to rise up the socio-economic ladder. Thus, the valley represents the failure of the Dream that America promises, which is the ideal of equal opportunities for all, associated with the New World.
Mizener, Arthur, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963.
In 1897, consequently to the collapse of Edwards business, the family moved to New York, in order for Edward to take up a job as a salesman for Proctor and Gamble. Be that as it may, their moved was brief after Edward was let go from his employment in 1908, inciting a move back the St. Paul where the Fitzgerald’s lived off the McQuillan family fortune, (Fitzgerald, Bruccoli and Baughman, 1995). For the next 14 years, Scott invested the larger part of his time at boarding school, at Princeton University, in the army, and in New York City (Ibid, 1995). Fitzgerald’s writing career began to take off in 1920 after the publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise (Bruccoli and Smith, 1981). The novel received glowing reviews (Ibid, 1981) and secured Fitzgerald’s place as one of the country’s most promising young
The Great Gatsby and the Valley of Ashes Many times we hear of society's affect on people; society influencing the way people think and act. Hardly mentioned is the reverse: peoples' actions and lifestyles affecting society as a whole and how it is characterized. Thus, society is a reflection of its inhabitants and in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is a wasteland described as the "valley of ashes."
Fitzgerald uses setting to criticise society’s loss of morality and the growth of consumerism after the Great War. The rise of the stock market in the 1920s enabled business to prosper in America. However, although the owners of industry found themselves better off wages didn’t rise equally, causing the gap between the rich and poor to grow markedly. Parkinson argues that the settings “represent [these] alternative worlds of success and failure in a modern capitalist society”. The valley of ashes symbolises this failure and moral decay, acting as a foil to the affluent “world of success”, East Egg, and highlighting that the lower classes must suffer to support its existence. This setting is introduced in Chapter 2 and is described as where “ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens”. The personification of the environment creates the sense that these failures are rooted in the land, suggesting that poverty is an inescapable part of American society. This is emphasised through the use of tripling which creates a sense of endlessness. By describing the men who live there as “crumbling through the pow...
The “Gold Coast” is located throughout the towns of North Hempstead, Huntington, Oyster Bay, in Nassau and Western Suffolk county.1 The setting of the North Shore plays an extreme role in Fitzgerald’s novel. The Great Gatsby is well known for it’s characters, old wealth, and elite power in the “East Egg” of the Long Island coastline. The “West Egg” was the less wealthy of the two. In the book, Fitzgerald explains the differences in the setting of the East and West Egg. East Egg is depicted as very conservative with old styled mansions and a more elite status.2 The West Egg is seen as gaudy and flashy with brightly colored clothes and cars, causing them to be subsequently despised by the Easterners.3
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1924 describes how the young upper class citizens go through everyday city life and meaningless arguments. Because of Fitzgerald’s vivid descriptions of the arrogant upper class and how the rest of society was basically an outcast, he gives his reader a chance to live and imagine how reality was in the 1920s. In the story we have the protagonist, Nick Carraway who narrates the story from his own point of view, Daisy, Nick's cousin who is married to a wealthy man named Tom Buchanan and has a friend named Jordan who is casually dating Nick. Fitzgerald captures the reader’s attention by creating symbolism through green colored light, the valley of ashes, and Gatsby's yellow car to represent how the 1920’s plummeted in a downward path.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is an absurd story, whether considered as romance, melodrama, or plain record of New York high life. The occasional insights into character stand out as very green oases on an arid desert of waste paper. Throughout the first half of the book the author shadows his leading character in mystery, but when in the latter part he unfolds his life story it is difficult to find the brains, the cleverness, and the glamour that one might expect of a main character.