In the Great Gatsby the story is narrated in the past tense and seen through the eyes of Mr Nick Carraway.He is a young man from Minnestota, who after serving in World War 1, went on to New York to learn the bond business.
He moves to the West Egg and soon becomes friends with his neighbour, the mysterious Jay Gatsby.
Fitzgerald, the author uses the the settings of the East and West Egg to present the differences in the classes and the demise of the American dream in the 1920’s.
“Old Money” v “New Money”..East Egg v West Egg..
One of the most important themes in the novel is class and social standing. It is a barrier for almost every character.
East and West Egg acts as a symbol of this in it's physical makeup.
The clash between east and west end manifests in the novel where, East Egg represents aristocracy, self-sufficient, sophistication, and enormously wealth.
Tom and Daisy live on the East which is far more refined and well bred.
East Egg is shown to be boring, where nothing exciting ever happens there.As Daisy complains ”I’m stiff, paralyzed with happiness with conscientious expression, though I’ve been laying on that sofa for as long as i can remember!!”..This suggests there’s just no energy and a feeling of nothing to plan ,no possibilities..this is shown when daisy has a conversation with Miss Baker..”we ought to plan something” yawned miss Baker,sitting at the table as if she were getting into bed.”all right” said Daisy,what’ll we plan?” she turned to me helplessly;”what do people plan?”,This quote suggests a really laid back,can’t be bothered attitude, theres nothing to excited about, no ambition .
On the other side of the water is west egg, where the newly rich Gatsby lives there’s a feeling of vibrancy, fun excitement, parties, a place with “ wide lawns”, ”friendly trees””real snow”..it gives you a feeling of freedom, the self made rich. Gatsby throws excessive parties in his attempt to catch Daisy’s attention.
Many of the guests are there mainly there to enjoy the lavish extravagant of the parties ,this is shown in chapter one where Nick explains the unnessary grandness of Gatsby’s parties
,At least once a fortnight a corps of casterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough coloured lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enourmous garden.on a buffet table, garnished with glistering hors-dooeurves,spiced baked hams crowed against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkey bewitched to a dark gold.the bar is in full swing,and floating round of cocktails permeate the garden outside,until the air is alive with chatter and laughter..later nick goes on to .laughter is a easier minute by minute,spilled with prodigality,tipped out at a cheerful word,sugguesting the wasteful amount of food,splashed out on these guests making them believe it to be the American dream. yet most of the Guests were not even invited to the parties, and if asked none of them seemed to even know who this Gatsby was..They did come up with lots of their own made up stories, even one saying “he had killed a man once”!!
Even though Gatsby opens his home to everyone to show his new money lifestyle, people only came to prove their social status, at the end of the book it emphasizes the hollowness of these people as of all the hundreds of people that had attended Gatsby parties, only a handful of people attend his funeral.
The novel is of the thwarted love between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, and how Gatsby amassed a vast fortune in order to win back the woman he most desired, which he believes would be to his achieving