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A Valley of Ashes

Autor:   •  April 9, 2014  •  Case Study  •  724 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,470 Views

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In 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby once again hit the big screen in a production that immediately had me intrigued in the setting and symbolism. The story is placed in the New York City/ Long Island area during the roaring twenties where Nick Carraway narrates the tragic tale of Jay Gatsby. Carraway finds himself in the hustle and bustle of wealth, lavish parties, luxurious cars and materials. Between his cousin on the opposite shore known as east egg and his own next door neighbor in west egg he becomes entrapped in a world of extravagance. In love with Daisy - Carraway's cousin - Gatsby requests that Carraway aids him in getting back Daisy even though she has already been married to Tom Buchanan for years now. Upon having her in his sights once again Gatsby begs for Daisy to leave her husband and start her life with him. Later on Myrtle Wilson, Buchanan's mistress, is killed by a car driven by Daisy but Gatsby takes the blame for it. In conclusion Gatsby is murdered by George -Myrtle's husband - and Carraway winds up in a institution for his alcoholism.

The American Dream is clearly noted throughout the entire movie establishing the importance of materials and prosperity evident in society at that time. The corruption of wealth, booze, and mobs are constant ultimately leading to greed, robbery and other crimes in what was referred to as "the pursuit of happiness". The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg symbolize God as he looks over the ruined wasteland of the Valley of Ashes. The peering, eerie eyes are pictured behind glasses on an old, faded billboard. They loom over the ashes and can be seen in a few scenes behind the smoke and filth of the area. The eyes represent the misfeasance of the people and their loss of moral values. The board has been neglected and abandoned just as the people have deserted their knowledge of right and wrong.

Another prominent symbol is the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. It is first portrayed when Gatsby reaches


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