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Jun 27, 2023
  • In the twenties, the era of glitter and gold, counterfeit wealth and artificial success obscured the vision of a disaster foreboding: The Great Depression, the Red Scare, the crash of the stock market, and many others. New York City, the capital of the world, was the place where the dreadful sickness originated. Just beyond the glamorous displays of traffic and lights, a dark, and lonely ash heap resides at the outskirts of New York City. In the book, the ash heap is a symbol of a disease, materialism, that spreads to destroy the hopes and dreams of the ones who possess them.

    Fitzgerald uses the ash heap as a symbol of a disease that spreads to destroy people s dreams and passions. Fitzgerald shows how the Valley of Ashes is a symbol of a destroyer of hopes and dreams that pass from New York City to the East and West Egg. This ash heap is a garbage dump located just outside New York City. The dim ambiance of the valley of ashes is represented by the workers. Occasionally, ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operation from your sight (17). They remove the trash of NYC and bring it to the ash heap to burn until it turns to ashes. The men who shoveled the trash off the train are like digging up dirt for a grave to bury someone.

    The ash is what is left over after the trash has been burnt; it is residue left over after a destruction. The men who shoveled the trash off the train are like digging up dirt for a grave to bury someone. The comparison to gravediggers depicts that this ash heap is not a golden place; it reminds the reader of death and decay. It is described as the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over (27). This ash heap is a drury place. When desires are no longer desires anymore, they go into the trash. The burning of the garbage is like burning passions, but it burns until only the residue, the desires and dreams, are left over. The dream and desire are burnt away and there is no hope for them to be dreams and desires again.

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