The Gg Essay

Submitted By lia111
Words: 927
Pages: 4

Discovery, individualism and the pursuit of happiness is what the American Dream is really about. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the settings West Egg, East Egg, and the Valley of Ashes are used by Fitzgerald to emphasise the corruption and the consequences of the American Dream upon American society, particularly for those who cannot obtain it, like the character Myrtle Wilson. The settings in the novel also enhance the readers’ appreciation of the significance of the economic and social inequalities between the rich and the poor.
East Egg, a peninsula near New York City, is representative of the “old money,” whose residents have succeeded on obtaining the wealth and power that the “American Dream,” represents. East Egg is the more expensive, exclusive and the residents have access to the inherited privileges that come with money. This is well revealed through the characters Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Daisy can “retreat back into her money and vast carelessness,” even after the death of Gatsby. Tom, who is a boorish bully, uses his social status and physical strength to dominate those around him like George Wilson. Wilson is taunted by Tom as he’s from a lower class. Although the East Eggers, “old money,” possess grace, taste and elegance, they lack integrity and decency as they prove themselves to be careless bullies who are used to money’s ability to make their lives easier. The Buchanans are again a good example as instead of condescending to attend Gatsby’s funeral, they carelessly move to a new house far away. Gatsby on the other hand, who represents “new money,” in this case derived from criminal activities was loyal, as he waited outside Daisy’s window until four in the morning to make sure that Tom did not hurt her, following the revelation in the hotel that she was having an affair with Gatsby, “I’m just going to wait here and see if he tries to bother her about that unpleasantness this afternoon.”
Ironically the behaviour of the Buchanan’s is the cause of Gatsby’s death but their vast wealth enables them to evade responsibility. Residents who are wealthy that do not access to the, “traditional wealth,” or social status required to inhabit East Egg are the West Eggers, “the less fashionable of the two.” West Egg is home to Nick Carraway, the narrator, and Gatsby who represent one aspect of the promise of the American Dream. Their wealth is earned as a result of the recent economic boom and is referred as the “new money”. Some of their characteristics are known as to being vulgar, blatant and lack in social graces and taste, for instance Gatsby living in a mansion which “was factual imitation of some Hotel de ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side”, while “across the courtesy bay the white palace of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water”. The insincerity of the Sloane’s invitation to dinner, which Gatsby naively accepts, emphasises that he doesn’t pick up on subtle social signals and this clearly reinforce the economic and social inequalities between the West Egg and East Egg. Gatsby’s dream is that he can earn enough material wealth to get to the seemingly untouchable Daisy and the East as he longs to recreate a vanished past, “to go back to Louisville and be married from her house – just as it were five years ago”. But of course as Nick warns him “you can’t repeat the past.” With the death of Myrtle and Daisy’s rejection of him Gatsby’s dream crumbles as he sacrifice…