West Egg and East Egg Are Not as Different as They Appear Essay examples

West Egg and East Egg Are Not as Different as They Appear Essay examples

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“Two unusual formations of land,” located not far from the bustling city of New York, “identical in contour” and yet differing in apparently all other aspects, provide the main setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby (4). On one side lies West Egg, the garish center for the newly rich, teeming with low-lifes and criminals. Across the bay lies East Egg, the more “fashionable” home of the idle rich, where the wealthy elite live in carefree luxury, safe from scandal and worry (5). At least, that is the image that Fitzgerald attempts to portray in his quest to reveal the corruption and infallibility of society. However, the discrepancies in his argument are obvious under further examination, for even while he labels West Egg inferior, highlighting the vulgarity in construction and society, Fitzgerald inadvertently reveals the inadequacies of East Egg, thus undermining his entire theory and leaving the reader wondering if all of society is corrupt or if there is some hope for the world.
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.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004.

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