Tom pursues Myrtle Wilson, a poor woman living in the industrialized ‘Valley of Ashes’ with her struggling mechanic husband. Myrtle, dissatisfied with her position in society, gladly spends Tom’s money and follows him wherever he goes. Following an attempt by Myrtle to rebel by saying Daisy’s name, Tom punches her in the face to prove that he has control. Myrtle is resigned to accept this abuse in order to get what she wants out of the relationship because she knows that anyone could easily take her place. In addition, Daisy begins seeing her former flame Jay Gatsby once she rediscovers his existence in West Egg. Gatsby, absolutely enamored with Daisy, claims to have earned all of his money and risen to the top just for her. Despite Daisy’s renewed interest in Gatsby, she dislikes his extravagant parties and West Egg, disgusted by ‘the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short cut from nothing to nothing’ (114). Daisy’s distaste for the ‘new money’ crowd sends Gatsby into a panic, and he immediately attempts to rectify his ‘mistake’ by eliminating the parties entirely, proving that Daisy is able to control him by her pretentious whims
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is told from the perspective of one of the main characters, Nick Carraway. Nick tells the story of a man named Jay Gatsby, who is his neighbor in the West Egg. Fitzgerald portrays Gatsby as a man who everyone wants to know and copy but deep down are very envious of him. Gatsby trusts few people and those whom he trusts know his life story. To everyone else, he is a mystery. Everyone seems obsessed with Jay Gatsby. For this reason the novel revolves about rumors of Gatsby rather than the truth.
The author uses the Valley of Ashes, a small town between the West Egg and New York City, to symbolize the moral and social decay that stems from the desire to become wealthy. 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 finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air symbolizes a morally stripped place where materialistic and false people can live in harmony. The unfortunate events that occur in the Valley of Ashes, including Gatsby's death, the affair between Tom and Myrtle and Myrtle's accidental death, represent the severe consequences stemming from the failed attempts at achieving the American Dream. As the characters travel through the Valley of Ashes to reach elsewhere, they are forced to belittle themselves to a lower social status, as seen when Tom engages in an affair with Myrtle, a poor-stricken woman, who solely provides another form of comfort. Serving as a symbol of social and moral destruction, the Valley of Ashes also symbolizes the condition in which the poorer American society lived during the 1920s. The description of the Valley of Ashes used through color symbolism, creates a melancholy atmosphere which allows the reader to connect the importance of the "desolate strip of land" to the negative personality changes, reflective of the 1920s, within the characters.
The Great Gatsby is too concerned with conveying a picture of 1920s American society to have relevance to modern readers.
Fitzgerald writes a story with a character that is considered “larger than life”; he throws massive parties, is in love with a married woman, is rich and goes by the name of Jay Gatsby. Nick is the narrator who is sees a different side of Gatsby that sees him “great” aside from his wealth and corruption. Nick grew up in the Jazz age and it was replaced with the vitality, and favor of the artificial American dream. Gatsby’s life was full of winnings along with failures that followed him into death throughout the novel; never the less he achieves a form of “greatness” because of his morality in Nick’s perspective.
Firstly, the characters George and Myrtle Wilson embody those who are pursuing the American Dream and face the endless challenges of their harsh realities. George owns an auto repair shop to collect profits while Myrtle pursues wealth and status through her affair with Tom. With this in mind, it is evident that both are disempowered due to the lack of money at their disposal. An example supporting this is when Nick describes the region they live in: “This is a valley of ashes… which screens their obscure operations from your sight.” (26). Instead of a bucolic image of a regular farm, the beauty of the natural world has been transformed into a horrible hellscape of gray ashes. Moreover, Nick describes the people living there as ash-gray men who swarm like insects, illustrating the grim lives of the lower class labour workers who are barely surviving. Also, this displays how the rich are disconnected from their source of wealth and are ignorant towards their privilege. The lower
Myrtle has been affected by both socioeconomic and gender inequity. She is unhappy being trapped in the lower middle class in the valley of ashes, but she can not work hard to raise her status because she is a woman. When Myrtle first married George Wilson, she thought she was marrying a rich man, but she later realizes that this was a trick and Wilson is very poor: “‘I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody's best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out.’ She looked around to see who was listening. ‘Oh, is that your suit?' I said. 'This is the first I ever heard about it.' But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried to beat the band all
Thirdly, Myrtle’s death symbolizes how the upper class hinders the rising middle class from achieving the American dream. Myrtle Wilson is one of Tom Buchanan’s mistresses, a non-elitist woman aspiring to become more than simply
It could be interpreted that Scott Fitzgerald had used the valley of ashes to foreshadows future events in the novel, which conclude with other people (Gatsby and Mr Wilson) having to deal with the effects caused by the rich (Tom and Daisy Buchanan).
Myrtle tries to satisfy her desires by seeking wealth and status in attempts of achieving her American Dream. Myrtle’s husband, George, owns a car dealership and repair shop in the industrial wasteland of the Valley of Ashes, which depict his lower class. In describing George's shop, Fitzgerald notes “The interior was unprosperous and bare; the only car visible was the dust-covered wreck of a Ford which crouched in a dim corner” (Fitzgerald 27). Although George is loyal and hardworking, Myrtle is unsatisfied with her relationship; she envies the East Eggers for living her version of the American Dream while she is stuck in the Valley of Ashes, married to a low class man. Myrtle directly disrespects her husband as she goes after Tom, a high class, wealthy, and married man, living in the East Egg.
In the book The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Daisy Buchanan is a perplexing character. She is charming and pretty, yet her personality is almost robotic. Daisy has no sincere emotions; she only knows social graces and self-preservation. A materialistic society makes Daisy a jaded person who lacks any real depth.
The Valley of Ashes represents the socially unaccepted. The characters in the Valley of Ashes represent poverty. “This is the Valley of Dry Bones, the Waste Land, The dusty replica of modern society, where ash-grey men are crumbling, like Eliot’s hollow men” (Bicknell 98). Myrtle and George Wilson both live in a run down garage in the Valley of Ashes. Myrtle Wilson tries desperately to improve her life and get out of the Valley of Ashes. The Valley of Ashes also represents doom and death. Myrtle is found as the victim of a hit and run caused by Daisy and Gatsby. The Valley of Ashes represents the death and dreams for Jay Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson, and George Wilson. These characters die in the novel due to misconception and anger.
Through dressing rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms with sunken baths. The dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold. P.96-97" Tom and Daisy also live in a mansion which is Georgian Colonial, which establishes their status as "old money" characters. The people living in the "valley of the ashes" depict a third class. The "valley of ashes is described as " a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat in ridges…where ashes take the form of houses and chimneys". Myrtle and George Wilson are the inhabitants in the "valley of ashes", which is depicted as a wasteland. They live in a car garage which, shows that they live a common or impoverished existence in the desolate wasteland of the "valley of ashes". The Wilson's financial and physical environment instructs their distance from characters like Tom Buchanan and Nick Carraway in every way, including their lack of education and class. In this way, Fitzgerald emphasizes major monetary differences through materialistic as well as solidifying the premise for ideological differences.
Fitzgerald further complicates the story when he introduces us to Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress, and her attempt to use him to climb the social ladder. Myrtle and her husband, Wilson, live in the valley of ashes, “a certain desolate area of land” (23). The valley of ashes is a particularly run down stretch of land between West Egg and New York City, mostly inhabited by people from the lower working class. Tom is good friends with Wilson, but is simultaneously having an affair with his wife. Fitzgerald shows us that Myrtle is unhappy with Wilson and seeks a better life when she cries, “The only crazy I was was when I married [Wilson]. I knew right away I made a mistake.