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You are watching: What does the valley of ashes represent


The valley of Ashes offers a counterpoint to the lavishness of eastern Egg and West Egg. The valley of Ashes represents excessive poverty and hopelessness. Those who inhabit the valley space condemned come live their lives there—they perform not have actually the financial method to escape, and also their potential is suppressed...

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The valley of Ashes provides a counterpoint come the lavishness of eastern Egg and West Egg. The sink of Ashes represents extreme poverty and hopelessness. Those that inhabit the valley space condemned to live their lives there—they perform not have the financial way to escape, and their potential is suppressed by the rich who encircle your valley. In the text, Fitzgerald defines the valley as

"a great farm wherein ashes flourish like wheat right into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; wherein ashes take the creates of houses and chimneys and rising acting and, finally, v a transcendent effort, that ash-grey men, who move dimly and currently crumbling through the powdery air." (26)

The means Fitzgerald explains it evokes picture of a wrong reality, one that is temporary and also one the a slight breeze could disperse into the air, choose ashes from a fire. This is a stark comparison to the lavish lifestyles of the nearby rich in eastern Egg and also West Egg. The only method those wealthy folks see the valley is as soon as they are compelled to drive or ride the train through it. The valley represents the degeneration of the American Dream, the center class, and also the moral and also social decay of America post–World battle I. Greed and also excess are encouraged through the industrialization of America in ~ the cost of the poor and middle classes. The ashes dumped into the valley represent the byproduct the American capitalism—the burning up and also away the the world who comprise the base of the American economic situation in stimulate to assistance the rich and also ultra-rich. For every one of these reasons, the sink of Ashes remains one of Fitzgerald"s many striking literary symbols.