15th June 2017


  1. List the four main settings in the novel. Provide a description for each setting and explain what it represents
  2. Select two of the settings from above and discuss how these settings helped you to understand the idea of illusion

East Egg: East Egg is the peninsula that Tom and Daisy live on, this is where the “old money” lives. The people that live here are usually more up themselves and think very highly of everything they own. “Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water.” This quote shows that in the novel East Egg is seen as the more impressive and wealthy side, where everything is shining in wealth. Their materials and possesions are more fancy and they expect to have more than everybody else, they want more than everybody else. East Egg goes against the American Dream as the people who live here are seen as much more superior than the rest. This helped me get the idea of illusion as the East Egg residents were corrupt. They would go visit the people living in other places but couldn’t stay with them for long, they didn’t want to be seen as the same level as anyone else. People who live in East Egg did not have to work for anything they have, it was handed to them on a silver plater. Really, they rely on the poor rather than stand above them.

West Egg: West Egg is the opposite to East Egg, the people who live there have made their own money, they call it “new money.” West Egg is where Gatsby and Nick live, it’s on the other side of the bay to East Egg. “I lived in West Egg, the – well, the less fashionable of the two…” Nick explains how he lives on the other side to Daisy, the not as wealthy and fairytale side. The West Egg lifestyle is much more modern with the houses, parties, clothes etc. Everything you have, you’ve earnt. West Egg does follow the American Dream in this way, the world is fair there because you have to work for what you receive, people are seen much more as equals there. However, it is an illusion because the way to make money for some people, including Gatsby, is illegally. This again shows that we can’t have n ideal world with everything being fair and happy. The parties that Gatsby hosts, inviting everyone, it just hides his deep sad and loneliness.

Valley of Ashes: The Valley of Ashes is inbetween East and West Egg. The land is made up from old ashes and represents the poor, this is the place that East Egg really look down to. “This is the 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, finallly, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” This tells us how this place is made from ashes, the live and breath ashes. It may not be good for their health living in such a mess but they can not afford anything differently, they must deal with it. The people here crawl around, tired from all the work they’ve done, work that doesn’t really have that much benefits. The poor live in the middle of the rich and have to deal with all their ruins, along with their own. In a social class lifestyle, the poor will always get stuck in the middle of the rich’s nonsense and have to live with it, while the rich continue to live their happy lives in peace. However, Tom uses this place as a get-away from his other life, he comes here to get his poor but lady friend. In their reality, the upper class wouldn’t associate themselves with the poor in this way or want to spend time here, proving that even the rich who get it good need a break and just be like everybody else.

New York: New York city is where everyone goes to escape their town, when they want to go out of roame fun, New York City is the place to go.  The bright lights and crowded streets entertain the wealthy, keep them busy and occupied from their everyday lives. New York is a city full of business people and work events, it’s a city where anything is possible. New York City is where Tom and Mrytle go for their “trips” away together. In the hotel room where they stayed, this is where their illusion was created. Their relationship was built here, therefore it will always be special to them.


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