The author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, meant for the setting and geography of the novel to relate to its themes, characters, and thoughts so readers would connect a place, person, and idea. There are many important geographical locations in The Great Gatsby. Each of these is specifically selected to correspond to an explicit person or central idea in the novel. The setting is also tremendously significant to The Great Gatsby, as it emphasizes the themes and character traits that drive the novel’s critical events. Without this important correspondence, the novel may not have had the effect on its readers that the author intended it to. If the reader is attentive to the details of the location and setting, the story will begin to unfold a series of comparisons providing more information about how a character really feels, or foreshadowing to what is to come.
The first location, West Egg, correlates to a person who is dazzling and extravagant. A person who became rich and possesses new money just like people who live there. The person who corresponds to West Egg is Jay Gatsby. Both the location and person symbolize the rise of the new rich alongside the conventional aristocracy of the 1920s. Previously, only people who were born into their riches were generally part of the upper class. Social mobility was difficult for those in lower classes because the “old rich” who maintained their prosperity across many generations retained control. During the 1920s however, people were starting to acquire their wealth within their own generations giving themselves the name “new rich”. Gatsby is an example of a person who constituting his own fortune after belonging to a lower social class and economic stratum. Gatsby’s character represents West Egg because he is a crucial example of the people in his location.
The second location, East Egg, correlates with a married couple who are powerful and prosperous. They are people who obtained their wealth through past generations and have generations of wealth to spare for the future. The couple who corresponds to East Egg is Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Both the location and the people symbolize the old upper class that continued to dictate the American social landscape. The individuals who inhabit East Egg are exactly identical to the personality and style of the Buchanan’s. They are socialites, constantly setting the new trends, but are also shallow and superficial because they live pleasure-filled lifestyles without working a day. These “old money” people are arrogant and hypocritical, feeling they are superior to everyone. Like Tom, many were laced with racial and sexist attitudes, but never lived up to their own expectations. Again, Tom and Daisy Buchanan represent East Egg because they are prime examples of the people who occupy the location.
The third location, the valley of ashes, correlates to a person who is desolate and desperate. He is a person who is lifeless,...