Essay on Significance of Setting in Great Gatsby

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Extract used: The Great Gatsby “The characters of a novel can only be individualized if they are set in a background of particularized time and place.” How important is the setting of a particular time and/or place to the development of the characters? Refer in detail to The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby is a novel of the 1920’s, a time of flamboyance, excessiveness, and ambiguity. To fully capture and document this atmosphere, Fitzgerald spent many a page concerned with detail. Such descriptions become a stimulus for the story, setting the mood and pace, the tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. The characters are directly linked to their location. Indeed in The Great Gatsby, setting dominates the novel. The setting in The Great Gatsby is very important because in Fitzgerald's world setting reveals character. Fitzgerald divides the world of the novel into four major settings, namely: East Egg; West Egg; the valley of ashes; and New York City. Within these major settings are two or more sub settings. East Egg is limited to Daisy's house, but West Egg incorporates both Gatsby's house and Nick's. The valley of ashes includes the Wilson's garage, Michaelis' restaurant, and the famous sign with the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. New York City includes the offices where people work, the apartment Tom Buchanan has rented for Myrtle Wilson, and the Plaza Hotel, where the final showdown between Gatsby and Tom Buchanan takes place. Each of these settings both reflects and determines the values of the people who live or work there. ------------------------------------------------- Fitzgerald’s use of setting incorporates and reflects the crime and corruption of the time, the loose morality of the flapper age, and the unbridgeable social divisions between the haves and the have-nots. The haves are also differentiated. The old money aristocracy feels superior to the

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