The Morality Of Nature In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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The philosopher Averroes said, “Behavior is imposed by nature, not the other way around.” People have always asked whether nurture, being the way one is raised, or nature, being where one is brought up, determines the way people behave and ultimately, the type of person one becomes. Throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, various locations are introduced that parallel to particular types of occupants. The geography of the novel is primarily composed of four scenes: East Egg, West Egg, the Valley of the Ashes, and New York City. Through his use of the four major settings, Fitzgerald displays the moral and social impairment of society. This corruption dramatically contrasts with the conventional ethics of the West. F. Scott Fitzgerald …show more content…
These two locations appear as two “enormous eggs” and are thus referred to as East Egg and West Egg (4). Each society, or “egg,” is characterized by the two distinct origins of the wealth of its inhabitants. East Egg is based on familial wealth, and therefore values a notable family name. Despite being “fashionable” and glitzy, East Egg becomes infamous for accommodating bullies as represented by Tom and Daisy Buchanan (5). Physically, Tom is “enormous” and dominant, which translates into his internal ego (7). He is portrayed as harsh and impulsive throughout the novel, later causing murder by blaming Myrtle’s death on Gatsby, ultimately coercing Wilson to shoot Gatsby and then himself. Instead of feeling shame, Tom states that Gatsby “had it coming to him,” and Nick realizes that he could never “forgive or like him” after discovering the truth (179). Both Tom and Daisy “were careless people,” since “they smashed up things and creatures and retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness” after the damage was done (179). Daisy is chiefly concerned with wealth and status, and becomes infatuated with the extravagant mansion Gatsby flaunts. This obsession with wealth is portrayed when she “began to cry stormily” at the mere sight of Gatsby’s lavish collection of expensive shirts (92). Even after her lengthy affair with Gatsby, Daisy …show more content…
The valley of the ashes is an extremely poor industrial area that is primarily used as a dumping ground. This area of economic depression embodies the corruption of American morals. The fact that the wealthy inhabitants of West and East Egg must travel through the “spasms of bleak dust” represents the shady materialistic pursuits of wealth that connect both areas both symbolically and literally (23). Inhabitants of the “Long Island Sound” are too focused on the shallow accumulation of money, leading to their moral corruption (5). The fact that the “ash-gray men stir up an impenetrable cloud” that “screens then obscure observations from your sight” insinuates that the rich use their money to shroud the corruption of their character (23). Wilson and Myrtle are two prominent characters that occupy the desolate valley of ashes. Wilson is described as “a spiritless, anemic” man, who is very weak with “white hair” (25-6). His frail and gloomy spirit represents how deteriorating the life of striving to be rich has on the American Society. Myrtle perishes in the valley of the ashes, furthering the theme that the corruption of wealth will lead to the death of American morality. “But above the gray land,” “the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg” scrutinize the area (23). This billboard is representative of the eyes of God that criticize the ethical decomposition of America stemming from the meaningless pursuit

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