In all his descriptions of West Egg, Fitzgerald inserts a note of condescending superiority, describing the houses as garish “menageries,” fit more for animals in a zoo than humans (5). Meanwhile, East Egg is adorned with “white palaces,” gracing the lawns and overlooking the bay (5). Even the history of West Egg screams of inferiority, for it is recently “begotten on a Long Island fishing town,” as evidenced by the existence of Nick’s humble cottage (107). Created by Broadway as a response to East Egg, there is a sense that the buildings on West Egg must be more luxuriant, more extravagant, and more excessive than those of East Egg, to create a sense of equality. Gatsby’s library exemplifies this need, for he had “real books,”...
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...less actions serve to do as much, if not more, harm than any bootlegger.
Despite attempts to create a duality between the societies of West Egg and East Egg, Fitzgerald actually connects them, showing how they are essentially analogous in both their construction and society. This directly Fitzgerald’s original statement and undermines his entire premise. He asserts that “one fine morning” a new day for society will dawn, with renewed hope and vigor, with strength to meet the coming day, yet the very nature of his arguments creates a sense that this hope is gone completely, for his words prove that all society is corrupt, both West Egg and East Egg alike (180). There is no way to tell – will society stand up to the demands of life, or will it falter? Evidence points toward both ends.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004.
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