What Does The Valley Of Ashes Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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The Valley of Ashes that Dr T. J. Eckleburg watches over is also significant in ‘The Great Gatsby’. Fitzgerald presents it as ‘a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens’ inhabited by ‘ash-grey men’. (3) It represents the moral and social decay resulting from the unbridled pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves in hedonism while the poor suffer and ceaselessly toil in the ashes, therefore showing the corruption of the American Dream and capitalism, where to achieve, wherein to achieve your own dream, it is necessary to crush the dreams of others. It also shows the impossibility of the American Dream as it seems that, when you are consigned to the Valley of Ashes, there is no escape as it is already a ‘transcendent’ effort made by the ‘ash-grey…show more content…
One of the main uses of colour in the novel is white, specifically with Daisy. White represents purity and innocence; however the colour white is used to present a façade of innocence for characters such as Daisy and Gatsby. Gatsby wears a white suit for his reunion with Daisy, in order to create the impression that he is a virtuous person, which isn’t true considering his involvement in bootlegging and other corrupt dealings. On the other hand yellow and gold are used as symbols for corruption and decay, while being closely linked with wealth. The yellow of Gatsby’s car represents corruption and deception. Furthermore, Daisy is closely associated with white as it is the colour she usually wears her car is white as are the walls, French windows, the curtains and ‘frosted wedding cake of the ceiling’ (4) of the Buchanan's house. However, just by examining her name it is clear that she is not as simple and innocent as she seems to be, as a daisy is a flower with white petals, looking innocent on the outside, however the centre of the flower is yellow, implying that below her façade of white is
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