List the four main settings in the novel and discuss how they show the idea of illusion

East Egg:

East egg is where all the ‘old money’ people live. People that have inherited their money from their family live here, such as Daisy and Tom. The Buchanan’s live in :  “a cheerful red−and−white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay.” People that live in East Egg tend to look down on people from the West Egg to display their superiority. East egg relates to the ‘American Dream’ because that’s what people from the Valley Of Ashes and West egg people want to be like. It is the ‘American Dream’ to be like the people from ‘old money’. This setting represents the rich people such as Daisy, Tom and Jordan, that have inherited their money from generations before. 

East Egg can be related to illusion because it the richer side of town which support the idea of the ‘American dream’. on the outside it seems like the people who live in East egg have an ideal, luxury life style that most people would dream of living. Although the truth really is that the people who live these luxurious lives pay a high ‘price’ because their lives are scandalous, dramatic and even contain murder, lies and hidden lovers. So overall their lives aren’t actually the dream, their lives are based on materialism and social class. If you aren’t born into ‘old money’ then you will never truly fit in with this “rotten crowd”. People that live here are all blank canvases. they don’t have true feelings, no real connections, and no love. This idea is expressed through Daisy and the colour white. Most people who live in East Egg would be able to relate to this colour as well because they are all bland and don’t have any relationships that aren’t based on materialism and money.

West Egg:

West Egg is where the ‘NewMoney’ people live such as Nick and Gatsby. People that live in this area are self-made, they were born into a middle class or a hard-working poor family. “I lived at West Egg, the—well, the less fashionable of the two” This quote describes that whilst West Egg is a wealthy community, it the less fashionable out of the two.  Another quote that describes this setting is: “Everyone in West egg is a bootlegger.” This quote which is said by Tom tell the readerTom’s opinion on the ‘new money’ people, mainly Gatsby. This setting is important because it represents the hard-working, self-made people who are being looked down on by the East Egg people such as Tom and Daisy.

West Egg shows the idea of illusion through its re occurring weather and water. At one point in the novel Nick sees Gatsby standing at the end of the dock with his arms stretched out towards across the bay. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and… I could have sworn he was trembling.” In the novel, the bay represents many things: separation, time, American Dream and struggle. The stretch of water symbolises the separation between Daisy and Gatsby. although Daisy’s house seems so close, it is actually quite far because there is big body of water between them.The water also symbolises time; particularly the last five years. Gatsby can see his future with Daisy and it so close, yet so far. This is what the water represents. West Egg also shows the illusion of the American Dream and Gatsby trying to reach this dream. All the people who live in West Egg want to be rich and high in social status like the people from East Egg. So the separation in the Eggs is also the separation in society. They are so close that they can see the end and their wanted lives, but once again the water between the boys symbolises time and what their past used to be liked.Poor or middle class.

The Valley Of Ashes:

In between the East and West Egg, there is a horrible stretch of road that goes through an area covered in dust and ash from the nearby factories. This place is called the Valley of Ashes, this is where Myrtle and George Wilson live. It isn’t actually made of ash but Nick refers to it like that because it’s really grey, dead and smokey. In the novel, the Valley of Ashes stands for the forgotten poor underclass people who enable the lifestyle of the wealthy few. These people are the ones who also represent the ‘American Dream’. They are the dreamers, they are ones that want to become rich and live a luxurious lifestyle. Although the reader knows that they can’t live those lives, it is all an illusion. This setting is import because it has The Eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg which become an import symbol through out this novel.The  giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg  are in  the middle of the Valley of Ashes, right next to Wilson’s garage.

Gatsby’s Mansion:

Mr Gatsby’s mansion is in West Egg right beside Nick’s little cottage. This is how Nick describes Gatsby’s mansion: “The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard—it was a factual imitation of some hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. ” Gatsby’s house is notorious for its lavish and raucous parties: ‘There was music from my neighbors house through the summer nights. In his blue garden men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” Gatsby’s mansion also seems to be positioned right across the bay from Tom and Daisy’s house which shines a red light at night. 

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