Midwestern Ties - the Great Gatsby

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East meets (Mid) West:
The humble narrator of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, owes his steadfast virtues to his midwestern origins.  These moral virtues that he learned out west elude, however, him as he becomes entangled in a life of greed, corruption and lies.  The promise of monetary gain brought Nick out East, but it was ultimately the dearth of morality and opulent lifestyle that prompted his return to the midwest. The death of Gatsby, a noticeable product of a flawed American dream, is the turning point for Nick, whence he realizes that West Egg does not promote the same values to which he is accustomed. Nick Carraway, transplanted from his midwestern roots to the glitz and glam of West Egg, is perhaps the only honest character in The Great Gatsby.  

As he arrived in New York, Nick Carraway was a morally virtuous midwesterner who relocated to the East Coast mainly for the sake of economic gain.  As Nick is drawn deeper into the life of his affluent neighbors, his steadfast moral virtues and innocent midwestern roots slowly vanish. He associates himself with morally bankrupt people, namely Meyer Wolfsheim who was responsible for throwing of the 1919 World Series. With the death of Gatsby, Nick realizes how few true friends Gatsby’s lifestyle made him, as he is one of three guests at the funeral. Nick then says: “I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.” (The Great Gatsby, Page 151) Nick offers this reflection as he is on his way back west, leaving the East and all it stands for. Being a midwesterner, Nick has learned the virtues of the heartland and knows that the east coast does not subscribe to the maxim: “an honest days pay for an honest days work.” The east coast is typically known for its portrayal of the new, materialistically oriented American...
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