Setting is one of the important elements and crucial parts in any literary pieces. It tells much about the world where the characters exist in. Moreover, it is important because it is the basis for the readers to judge the believability of the novel (Morgan). The author added that the “the type of world… will determine the reactions and behaviors of your characters. ” The setting will also reflect the social mores of a particular culture.
The setting is a very important tool in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby because it exposes the characters. Moreover, the setting emphasizes the character traits and themes which give meaning to the critical events. The novel has four settings. These are the West Egg, East Egg, New York City and the valley of ashes. Subsettings also exist within these major settings. East Egg is the more fashionable area of Long Island where the rich live. West Egg, on the other hand, is the less fashionable area of Long Island.
The Valley of Ashes is a desolate wasteland while New York City is the place symbolizing America during the 1920s: anything goes in New York City. This is where affairs and parties are held These four major settings give the readers an idea about the values of the people who work or live there. For example, Nick ended up in West Egg because he did not have the money to purchase a house in East Egg. Gatsby is also in West Egg because his present credentials are not acceptable in East Egg.
As a result, Nick left and Gatsby was ruined. The novel’s major settings correspond to a particular type of character or theme. For instance, West Egg is like Gatsby. It symbolizes the new rich and the aristocracy during the 1920s. East Egg is like the Buchanans, who enjoy high social status, are wealthy and powerful. The valley of ashes, on the other hand, is like George Wilson, desperate, without hope and reflects the American’s society’s moral decay. New York City is chaos, with its parties and affairs.