The Spaces In Great Gatsby By Fitzgerald
Narratological space and setting as defined by Fludernik, (2009), is set of prepositions used to describe a particular background in a work of literature with the intention of generalizing the socio-geographical environment in which the story takes place. There are four settings in the Great Gatsby. The spaces are East Egg, West Egg, the Valley of Ashes and Manhattan. Through characters and description of the living and environmental conditions, various worlds lay bare. The spaces illuminate on the social class of people living there, the mood and a particular impression about people in Gatsby based on the description of each setting. Pulling together the descriptions of Gatsby’s house in West Egg, Wilsons Garage in the Valley of Ashes and the Manhattan apartment inhabited by Tom and Myrtle, reveal differences between each class and nature of the various worlds in the Great Gatsby.
The Valley of Ashes is symbolically used, and the metaphorical use of the word ashes depicts a place where nothing much happens. Valley of Ashes inhabits people of the lowest social class. Wilsons’ garage surrounded by a farm described as a farm in which ashes grow like wheat into unpleasant gardens. The valley has nothing going on because of its emptiness. Wilson’s Xu garage described as having an interior which is bare and poorly furnished. People living in the Valley of Ashes are miserable and hopeless that is why the valley viewed as very empty with less activity. The majority of the novel’s action takes place at the West Egg, and the secret apartment in Manhattan. Of the two local spaces, the West Egg described as “the less fashionable of the two”.
Additionally, the reason to as why Gatsby chose to reside at West Egg was because he does not consider himself qualified to live at East gate. He might consider himself as a member of the “new money”, but he knows that he doesn’t belong to the “old money”. Thus, the West Egg is a place inhabited by people of a lower class than those living at the East Egg. Gatsby’s house is described as “an authentic impersonation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a pinnacle on one side, beating new under a thin facial hair of crude ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty sections of land of grass and garden”.
Comparing Gatsby’s house with Nick’s cottage, Nick’s cottage reveals impression residents of the West Egg are of a low social class. The cottage described as ‘Finnish tread that shook the kitchen floor” and having an empty living room with a defunct clock on the mantelpiece. The emptiness of spaces in the west egg is a reflection of the traits of people living there. There is a clear contrast between the West Egg and Manhattan where Tom and Myrtle’s apartment location. When Nick visits the urban city for the first time, he encounters with positive experiences, and he describes the city as being “so warm and soft, almost pastoral”.
On the other hand, Tom’s house described as having the comfortability of a home. The Xu 3apartment matches the lifestyle of Tom. “The front room was swarmed to the entryways with an arrangement of tapestried furniture completely too huge for it so that to move about was to bumble constantly over scenes of women swinging in the greenery enclosures of Versailles”.
Urban Manhattan is more crowded and lively than West Egg and the Valley of Ashes. Manhattan is an ideal world where people of first social class reside. Conclusion In a nutshell, there are three worlds in the novel categorized according to the social classes in a society. The Valley of Ashes represents low-class residence and people. Low-class people are often not excited about life and have less activity going on around them. The West Egg residents represent the middle class. The common community shares both traits low class and first class communities. For example, the contrast between Nick’s cottage and Gatsby’s house is evidence of the common traits shared among the three social worlds. Unlike the low and middle class, the first class world characterized by comfort and liveliness. Tom represents the first class world. The three worlds also represent the personal traits of the novel’s characters.
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