30th June 2017

Setting essay part 2

Statement: East Egg is illustrated to be the false American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

Explanation: The location of East Egg in the novel is placed in Long Island, New York. This is across the bay from West Egg, East Egg represents ‘old money’. This is where the characters Daisy, Tom and Jordan live in their flash mansions and expensive goods. ‘Old money’ means that they have inherited it rather than have had to work hard for what they own, giving them the advantage that nobody else is fortunate enough to get.  The people living in East Egg are given a name, a reputation, this of which they feel as if they must live up to.

Example: In the novel, East Egg is seen to be the more upper class location, the one that when you look “Across the courtesy bay” to see all of “the white palaces of fashionable East Egg”. Every day and night, you could see that East Egg “glittered along the water.” like no other setting could.

Explanation: East Egg is the place that some people could only dream of living, it is seen to be the place where all your dreams come true and you will be given all the happiness you desire. This is because as an outsider of things, you always see the positives. Shining lights, fashionable houses, expensive clothes and cars but really, there is more to be seen, it’s just blind to the outsider’s eye. Residents of East Egg can be torn down and unhappy, they are so used to getting what they want, therefore are always looking for something more and when they can’t find that something more, they can become very frustrated. Yes, it is true, East Egg is full of wealth and they can buy their happiness but is it really happiness if it’s forced? You could say that this is almost false happiness, their shiny goods and flash location doesn’t always allow them to live the fairytale it may look like. However, they have made their way around the American Dream, they don’t work hard at all but yet they are rich, they do live in a location full of wealth and this is where people are finding the American Dream to be preposterously false. 

Example: Daisy believed that by living in East Egg they were in a “Distinguished secret society”, seperate from everybody else “to which she and Tom belonged”. Nobody else was welcome into this palace of wealth, according to Tom and Daisy.

Explanation: Daisy and Tom believe that the life they lead is superior to everyone else’s, this may seem true too. However, they act like it is anyway as if nobody else exists in their world. Daisy and Tom boulder through the cities and towns of New York, not worry about who or what is in their way.   By inheriting their wealth, making them “old money”, to them this means that they will always be above the others on the social class scale, even if they are equally as rich. This was a place that only Tom and Daisy lived in, a world that they have created for themselves and everyone else must play along. It could also mean, however, that they both lead the same lives of being wealthy and married together but it just being an illusion, they both have lives seperate from each other that nobody else supposedly knows about. For Tom, this is his relationship with Myrtle and for Daisy, Gatsby. Both have unknown truths that everyone outside of Tom and Daisy’s circle doesn’t know about, nor do they plan to expose it. In the end they both come back to each other, after all, this is where the wealth is and in the 1920’s, everything revolved around your social class. Neither of them could leave their relationship, even if they weren’t happy because they knew that if they did, their status would be broken, their “success’ of living the American Dream would no longer stand.

Your thinking: F. Scott Fitzgerald was illustrating the fact that in reality, there is social classes and there isn’t anything you can do to change that. There will always be people higher ranked than you, live in better conditions than you or have more friends than you but that doesn’t always mean they have more. Yes, they may have more objects but they may not have more happiness, love and family. These are the important things in life, the things that drive people to take the actions they do, the decisions they make and at the end of the day, it is not the expensive objects that make people happy, be grateful for what you have. Be accepting of others too, people can create so much good in your life, you just have to let them in. This is where Daisy and Tom were mistaken, they thought that they already had it all, they didn’t need anybody else but they do, people learn and grow from other people, no matter the race, wealth or gender difference.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Kate you have broken this down really well. I now want to challenge you to be more concise- go back through your work and look at what you can cut down or take out. As you read, ask yourself “does this help me answer the question?” If it doesn’t, look to cut it out. Check the grammar of your statement.


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