Its over the whole novel .
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The Valley of ashes lies between West Egg and New York. It is a desolate place where, "Ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens." Everything about it is dry, grey and dirty. East Egg by contrast is full of green manicured lawns and palatial mansions. A fresh breeze blows in from the coast and nothing is out of place. West Egg is more middle class but still a much more acceptable place than the Valley.