22nd June 2017

Setting Essay

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”  This very famous novel “The great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald is set in New York. This book follows the life of 8 characters in the 1920’s. I will talk about how East Egg, West Egg, The valley of ashes and New York represent the american dream and social divide. The american dream is no longer true. It is now all an illusion.


The valley of ashes in the novel ‘The great Gatsby’ represents the failed american dream and the decaying of society. 

This is a valley of ashes—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 through the powdery air.The valley of ashes is a run down slum town that lies between West Egg and East Egg. This represents the failed american dream because most people living there work really hard and get little or nothing in return. This means that the american dream is a failure in the valley of ashes. The valley of ashes also represents the decaying of morals and society in the USA. This is because everyone there is poor. The poor get poorer and rich get richer.


East Egg represents the false american dream. We are told throughout the book the East Egg is more fashionable and it’s where the richer people live. I lived at West Egg, the – well, less fashionable of the two, though this is the most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.

This quote shows that East Egg represents the false american dream because the people that lived there don’t work hard however they are very rich. The people that live here are born into wealth and stay wealthy throughout their whole lives. They think they are more superior to everyone else because of their wealth.This makes the american dream false. The american dream states that if you work hard and put the effort in, you will get wealth out of it. The residents of East Egg do not follow this statement as they have not worked hard at all. In fact most people that live there have probably never worked a day in their lives. Nick sees these white palaces and is able to see the two different types of lives the americans live.


West egg represents the corrupt american dream. ‘I didn’t hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich
people are just big bootleggers, you know.’

West Egg represents the corrupt american dream because of how the people that live there got their wealth. West Egg is where people live when they have new money ( Money they have got themselves). This may seem fair however this is not the case. As the quote above states, a lot of the people




EXPLAIN The american dream

Fitzgerald uses these three settings to represent the idea of the illusion of the american dream. The american dream in the great gatsby is represented in three different ways: Fake, false and corrupt. The american dream is also used to represent the different social classes. The valley of ashes is a poor and decaying place where people work and hard and get nothing out of it. This represents the failed american dream as the american dream states that if you work hard, you will get a lot out of it however this does not occur. This is also a case in many countries around the world today where people work 16 hour shifts and get a few dollars.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Some great language choices!

    Make sure all place names have capital letters and you write the full numbers out rather than putting in the digit.

    Watch phrases where you are repeating yourself. Re-read your VOA explanation and see if you can spot where you have repeated the same idea with slightly different words.


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