The Great Gatsby

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“The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.” While people are waiting for the train, between West Egg and New York they are surrounded in a place where Fitzgerald names the “valley of ashes.” The opening chapter of the Great Gatsby details the rich and American values. The second chapter is where the valley of ashes is introduced. Fitzgerald portrays this landscape in such specific words that helps the reader capture the ambience of the plot. The valley of ashes influences the reader to feel like it is a metaphor for the world today, some people can be stuck in this world but feel nothing. All the glitz and glamour can surround you , however, you may still be able to feel dead inside. The word choice in this paragraph is very significant and it is important to analyze each word, which all emphasize the desolation of the landscape and society. The first four words of the paragraph caught my attention right away. This is the first time Fitzgerald introduces the valley of ashes. A question that came to mind when name the valley of ashes was introduced, why did he choose those specific words to describe the place? Why is it so significant if they are just ashes. Also why ashes? Whose and what were they once? These questions really made me wonder as to what deeper story is there to the valley of ashes. Fitzgerald goes into depth describing the place but not how it got its name of valley of ashes. In addition, the name of the valley of ashes is a foreshowing for Myrtles death that takes place there later on in the story. Myrtle dies in the valley of ashes. She gets ran over by daisy driving the car in such a horrifying way because her body was ripped apart and she died in such pain. This...
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