The Great Gatsby: Setting

The four main settings that I have chosen to analyse are East Egg , West Egg
, ‘town’ or the inner city New York and The Valley of Ashes.

East Egg:
East Egg is represented as a place where ‘old’ money men and women reside. Old money is a term which means that he or she has inherited a large sum of money from older and generations which have been passed down. The behaviour displayed there is of an upper class manner and are portrayed as well mannered. They are seen as the the past in terms of the wealthy or rich scene. We can see this in the following quote. “ I lived at West Egg, the – well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them”.

West Egg:
West Egg is represented as a place where ‘new’ money men and women reside. New money is a term which means that he or she has worked to produce their own wealth.
Often are new money people looked down upon from old money people. The behaviour displayed from these individuals is reckless yet well portrayed. They are seen as the forefront of the wealthy. West egg is displayed as the less fashionable were as east egg is more desirable. We can see this in the following quote. “ I lived at West Egg, the – well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them”.

Inner city New York (town):
Inner city New York is displayed as the centre of the wealthy where new money and old money come to spend their money. It is displayed as the heart of the city where all the change is happening. New and old money individuals come to engage in drinking which was illegal to consume alcohol at the time. The social expectation surrounding the whole of the city is that it’s the hub of all types of classed men. This is where they mix. We can prove this by this quote from Nick. “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

The Valley of Ashes:
The Valley of Ashes is displayed as a place of construction and griminess. It is where the lower or middle class come to work and live. It is located in between the city and west and east egg. The social expectation surrounding the valley of ashes tends to be a poor or middle classed It theme. It’s as if people that can’t or struggled to make a living can go and find refuge. It opposes the likes of West/ East egg and New York city who have a rich or successful reputation. We can see the type of environment, The Valley of Ashes is from the following quote. “This is the valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; rising smoke and, finally, with a transcending effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.”

Illusion in settings:

I will use West egg and East egg to describe the use of illusion in the novel. The use of illusion in settings surrounding West egg and East egg. West Egg and East egg represents illusion in this novel by creating a social barrier between ‘new’ and ‘old’ money. This can particularly seen in Daisy’s and Gatsby’s relationship. We can prove this from this quote from the following quote. “Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of East Egg glittered along the water.” The use of ‘white palaces’ means the type of status East Egg has compared to West Egg. The fact that Nick can afford a house at West Egg next to a man like gatsby shows how easy it is to claim a piece of land in West Egg. It shows that East Egg is much more desirable than West Egg. No wonder East Egg or Old Money people look down at West Egg or New Money people. If middle classed people like Nick can rent a property at West Egg, East egg wouldn’t be as desirable.

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