Morals As Depicted In The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
Morals as Depicted in The Great Gatsby
The East and the Midwest are symbols of different moral attitudes and life-styles in the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Tom Buchanan, Daisy and Jordan Baker were all born and at least spent most of their lifetime in the West. On the one hand the West symbolizes conservative values like honesty, a strong sense of community and as an outgrowth, an inquisitory attitude which spares only children and the very old.
The East, on the other hand, stands for modern life with all its materialistic features and moral flaws like carelessness, dishonesty and decadent vices. So there is a distinction of the East and the West in the novel. To Nick the West starts beyond the Ohio River.
You can still see this contrast nowadays, however not to that high degree as it’s shown to us in the novel. Taking a closer look at statistical facts like density of population, crime rates, ethnic composition of the inhabitants, immigration figures and industrial structure one can see that the West has always been topped by the East. The West, however, shows a more agricultural orientation. Respecting the statistical facts above and the rural structure of the West, one comes to the conclusion that conservative or traditional values are of higher importance in the lifestyle of Westerners than in the life of Easterners. Thus a contrast in both lifestyles is still visible today. Comparing e.g. New York and St.Louis as typical representatives of their regions, this contrast becomes evident. New York the corrupt, hectic, dirty but also highly progressive metropolis of the East Coast, and the almost paradise-like, comfortable and a little provincial gate to the West, St.Louis, are the perceivable incarnation of the striking contrast between the West and the East of the USA.