The Use of Setting in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In the Great Gatsby the setting plays a major part in the story because the create a mood and sort of tell about the characters, the four main settings would be East Egg. West Egg, the Valley of Ashes, and New York City.

East Egg is where Daisy and Tom Buchannan live in their large house. This part of the island is where there are a lot more old people who have a lot of money, and most have received an education. This is where you will find a lot of big, expensive, and classier mansions. Also known as the area for old money and anyone who has not had their fortune for a long time isn’t even aloud to live there.

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West Egg is where both Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby live. Here there is a much younger population and is known as the people who are new money. Here the houses are much more showy and people like to show off that they have money. Also here is where most of the large parties take place.

The Valley of Ashes is sort of the dump between East and West Egg. This is where you would find the poorer people on the island, this is where Wilson’s Garage is and also the famous eyes of TJ Eckleburg sign is. This is also where Myrtle was hit and killed by a car.

The final setting, New York City, is where some of the most important parts of the book happen. This is where the maine characters met near the end of the book at the Plaza Hotel, which is a very nice and expensive hotel, this is where Tom and Gatsby get into a big argument and Tom accuses Gatsby about lying about his past, and after that all calms down, Nick realizes that it is his 30th birthday and he has wasted his life messing around with all these people.

The people of West Egg are known for being new to their wealth. These people have hadto work hard for their money, but also feel the need to be vulgar and pretentious. Nick describes West Egg as, “less fashionable [and] superficial,” (Fitzgerald 5). Gatsby’s mansion is a physical indication of the ostentatiousness of the residents of West Egg. One of the key points of the American Dream is the pursuit of happiness. Behind all of the superficial wealth, there is a repressed longing for happiness that the West Eggers believe they can achieve through flaunting. Gatsby’s missing piece of happiness is Daisy Buchanan. He appears to have everything that a person could ever want, such as his mansion, luxury car, and expensive clothes, but he is truly miserable and unhappy. This shows that material wealth, that is possessed by many inhabitants of West Egg, is not equivalent to the American Dream.

The failure of the American Dream is developed through symbols exhibited in the Valley of Ashes. The low class citizens of the Valley of Ashes do not have the same opportunities to become successful that residents of East Egg, West Egg, and other parts of New York have. The Valley of Ashes is home to George and Myrtle Wilson. It is described as a,”fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys, and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling though the powdery air.”(Fitzgerald 23).

The Valley of Ashes is representative of poverty and hopelessness. It acts as a prison that is inescapable until death. This is evident through bothe the deaths of George and Myrtle. Death was their onu way out of the imprisonment of the Valley of Ashes. The life sentence that the inhabitants of the Valley of Ashes seem to serve indicataes the American Dream is impossible to achieve.

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The Use of Setting in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. (2023, Jun 16). Retrieved from

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