The Great Gatsby

Restless in West Egg

To many Americans, wealth and happiness are inextricably intertwined. After all, the democratic ideals of our country are predicated on the notion of the âself-madeâ? man. Ironically, it is sometimes the striving for wealth or the striving for happiness through wealth that leads to our downfall. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald presents us with a vivid picture of three different strata of society and their common thirst for wealth. We meet Daisy and Tom Buchanan of the âold moneyâ? community of East Egg; they seem to have everything, yet they lead double lives and destroy others in their quest for excitement and self-fulfillment. On the other side of Manhasset Bay in West Egg resides Jay Gatsby, a newly wealthy man who throws lavish parties and seems to encompass the âself-madeâ? man ideal. However, Gatsby also longs for happiness, in the form of Daisy Buchanan. Situated in the middle of the vast wealth of East and West Egg is the Valley of Ashes, home to the utterly poor Wilsons. Although the Valley of Ashes is essentially a despair-inducing locale, the Wilsons, envious of the wealth of their surroundings, go to great lengths to try to attain the âideal lifeâ? that they incorrectly believe East and West Eggers lead. It...

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