West and East Egg (Long Island, NY)

Martin Hall, Great Neck
Creative Commons AttributionMartin Hall, Great Neck - Credit: jdpb63, Flickr
West and East Egg, on the northern shore of Long Island, are thought to be disguised versions of Great Neck and Manor Haven/Sands Point, both famous in the Jazz Age for wealth and luxury. Far enough outside the bustle of New York City, here the wealthy could have their space and waterfront views. By and by came the nouveau riche, which is quintessentially what Gatsby represents to Tom. So while Tom and Daisy live on the fashionable, old money east side of the Long Island Sound, Gatsby lives across the bay. 

 

Long Island
GNU Free Documentation LicenseLong Island - Credit: Rudolf 1922
New York City

Although as decadent, fast and urban in 1922 as it is in the modern context, New York City in Gatsby is a secondary setting. It is the place where businessmen meet and where Nick works. It's also where the rich go when bored to entertain themselves with shopping, affairs or simple hedonism. 

 

New York City also represents a version of the American Dream. It is a place of enormous possibility, wealth, hope – and corruption. 

Valley of Ashes
Valley of Ashes
Creative Commons AttributionValley of Ashes - Credit: Tyler Greenleaf

The anithesis of life in East and West Egg, the Valley consists of smoky air, piles of ashes, railroad lines and a few scattered businesses; a buffer between the wealth of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the densely populated Brooklyn and Queens areas located just across the East River from New York City. 

 

Google Map

 

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville
Creative Commons AttributionLouisville - Credit: Fleur-Design
Situated on the Ohio River, Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and the hometown of Daisy and Jordan.

It is also where Daisy and Gatsby meet in 1917 when he is a soldier and she a debutante helping out with the Red Cross.

 

Google Map