The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that has a large focus on the ideas of the American Dream and social class in the 1920s. In the novel, the people of West Egg and East Egg are people of the upper who have earned money either through inheritance or working hard and have had many opportunities to make their American Dream a reality. The people of the Valley of Ashes are people of lower class who have little to no money and have to work all their lives to make ends meet. Even though both social classes strive for the same thing, The American Dream, neither of them will ever truly achieve it. Fitzgerald uses a vast contrast in the settings of East Egg, West Egg, and The Valley of Ashes to display the reoccurring theme of a pre-set social class and to expose the false reality that the American Dream presents upon society.
F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the people of East Egg and West Egg to show the false reality that is the American dream and how it can never be achieved because the human race will always want more. East Egg and West Egg are full of rich and successful people. The people East Egg made their money through inheritance and occupy a station of very high class and carry themselves as such. The people of West Egg however have earned their money and occupy a position of high class but are still observed as being lower than the people of East Egg. One of the residents of West Egg, Jay Gatsby, went from being dirt poor to having more money than he knew what to do with through boot legging alcohol and organized crime. Gatsby, like all people, has a dream, and his dream is to be a man among the gods and Daisy, a resident of East Egg whom he fell in love wi...
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...ott Fitzgerald displays the false reality that American Dream presents upon society through the immense variation in setting and corresponding wealth, as seen in West Egg, East Egg and the Valley of Ashes. While the people in East Egg have inherited money, those in West Egg acquired it through their idea of the American Dream which in turn has grave repercussions for the lower class. The Valley of Ashes is a desolate wasteland where many lower class citizens live; the result of, “the rich get richer, and the poor get –children” (Fitzgerald 95). For most people, the American Dream will always remain just a distant dream. Fitzgerald’s rendition of the American Dream and its distorted reality is not only an exceptional novel, but accurately echoes similarities in present-day American society.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. New York: Scribner, 1925. Print.
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