Commentary on Setting in "The Great Gatsby" Chapter 2

Authors Avatar by schizopath (student)

One of the settings in this passage is the “valley of ashes” that lies around half way between West egg and New York. The description of the valley is of which everything is old and it also shows the ugliness of the valley. The valley is also known as the waste land, as the people just dump their waste there. It is built and formed up by ashes; ashes are usually used to show the remains of something once well. Thus I feel that the valley of ashes got its name because it is used to symbolize a much lower status of wealth as compared to the west egg or New York and that the people living there are the much poorer people.  

The valley of ashes is also a stop that people will definitely stop by as they are travelling from West egg to New York, it can be as short as one minute to as long as half an hour. From there they can see the valley; they can see how bad or undeveloped the place is. However I feel that this is also like a transition stage between West egg and New York.  

Another one of the setting is at the garage in the valley of ashes. “The interior was unprosperous and bare”, this showed that the place was really run-down and no one actually bothers about the design and layout of the place, thus fitting into the valley of ashes as it is where a much lower class of people live. “only car visible was the dust-covered wreck of a Ford which crouched in a dim corner” this showed that the garage does not have any frequent customers and that the last someone wanted to buy a car was a long time ago as the car was covered in a layer of dust. Further this can be backed up by “when he saw us a damp gleam of hope sprang into his light blue eyes” this showed that indeed there wasn’t any customer for a long time and he felt happy seeing us as this means that he may actually be able to sell off the car.

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“The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic – their irises are one yard high” from this I feel that it seem as if Doctor T. J. Eckleburg eyes are like god looking over the valley regardless of the weather and time. God is like using the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg to look after the people at the valley. I also feel that it also symbolizes nick the narrator eyes, as he is the one that has the overall picture of what is actually happening. While the other characters in the novel are either ...

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