The Great Gatsby- midwest to east

             In “Chapter 9” of The Great Gatsby, Nick decides to move back to the Midwest. Before he leaves, he sees Tom and asks him what he had told Wilson after Myrtle's death. Tom admits he told Wilson that Gatsby owned the yellow car which causes Wilson to shoot Gatsby and then himself. Nick comes to terms with Tom and Daisy when he realizes that they represent all that he feels disdain for. Fitzgerald uses diction and imagery in this scene to suggest that location shapes the behavior and the morals of his main characters that all have moved from the Mid-west to the East in order to express his own opinion of wealth and opportunity.
             Fitzgerald’s imagery contrasts the nature of the East to the Midwest. The Midwest is a symbol of morality, conservatism, and pragmatism. Nick describes the west as a “winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and … a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air . . . We drew in deep breaths of it . . . unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour before we melted indistinguishably into it again. That’s my middle-west” (184). Snow represents purity and integrity. Fitzgerald clarifies that in the Midwest one knows their uniqueness and purpose in relation to America. The word “brace” represents a supportive and compassionate environment that is the Mid-west. In contrast, the East is a symbol of shallowness, carelessness and corruption. Fitzgerald describes the East as “night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen, overhanging sky and lusterless moon” (185). Fitzgerald’s harsh description of the East portrays his opinion of it. He shows the hypocrisy of the East because it tries to appear conventional but it really is an unusual place. He uses morose images such as “lusterless moon,” “sullen” sky and “grotesque” houses to show that t...

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The Great Gatsby- midwest to east. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:52, December 05, 2016, from