What Does The Valley Of Ashes Symbolize?

What Does The Valley Of Ashes Symbolize
The Valley of Ashes – First introduced in Chapter 2, the valley of ashes between West Egg and New York City consists of a long stretch of desolate land created by the dumping of industrial ashes. It represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure.

What might the valley of Ashes represent on a symbolic level?

The Valley of Ashes is an unpleasant place that reveals the dark side of American society in the 1920s. Ultimately, it represents the breakdown of morality caused by extreme wealth inequality. It is in stark contrast to settings such as East Egg, West Egg, and Manhattan.

What is symbolic about the valley of Ashes in Chapter 2?

Analysis – Unlike the other settings in the book, the valley of ashes is a picture of absolute desolation and poverty. It lacks a glamorous surface and lies fallow and gray halfway between West Egg and New York. The valley of ashes symbolizes the moral decay hidden by the beautiful facades of the Eggs, and suggests that beneath the ornamentation of West Egg and the mannered charm of East Egg lies the same ugliness as in the valley.

The valley is created by industrial dumping and is therefore a by-product of capitalism. It is the home to the only poor characters in the novel. Read more about the symbolism of the Valley of Ashes. The undefined significance of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’s monstrous, bespectacled eyes gazing down from their billboard makes them troubling to the reader: in this chapter, Fitzgerald preserves their mystery, giving them no fixed symbolic value.

Enigmatically, the eyes simply “brood on over the solemn dumping ground.” Perhaps the most persuasive reading of the eyes at this point in the novel is that they represent the eyes of God, staring down at the moral decay of the 1920s. The faded paint of the eyes can be seen as symbolizing the extent to which humanity has lost its connection to God.

This reading, however, is merely suggested by the arrangement of the novel’s symbols; Nick does not directly explain the symbol in this way, leaving the reader to interpret it. Read important quotes about the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The fourth and final setting of the novel, New York City, is in every way the opposite of the valley of ashes—it is loud, garish, abundant, and glittering.

To Nick, New York is simultaneously fascinating and repulsive, thrillingly fast-paced and dazzling to look at but lacking a moral center. While Tom is forced to keep his affair with Myrtle relatively discreet in the valley of the ashes, in New York he can appear with her in public, even among his acquaintances, without causing a scandal.

Even Nick, despite being Daisy’s cousin, seems not to mind that Tom parades his infidelity in public. Read more about New York City as one of the novel’s settings, The sequence of events leading up to and occurring at the party define and contrast the various characters in The Great Gatsby, Nick’s reserved nature and indecisiveness show in the fact that though he feels morally repelled by the vulgarity and tastelessness of the party, he is too fascinated by it to leave.

This contradiction suggests the ambivalence that he feels toward the Buchanans, Gatsby, and the East Coast in general. The party also underscores Tom’s hypocrisy and lack of restraint: he feels no guilt for betraying Daisy with Myrtle, but he feels compelled to keep Myrtle in her place.

  • Read more about Nick’s point of view as the novel’s narrator.
  • Tom emerges in this section as a boorish bully who uses his social status and physical strength to dominate those around him—he subtly taunts Wilson while having an affair with his wife, experiences no guilt for his immoral behavior, and does not hesitate to lash out violently in order to preserve his authority over Myrtle.

Wilson stands in stark contrast, a handsome and morally upright man who lacks money, privilege, and vitality. Read more about Tom’s role as the novel’s antagonist. Fitzgerald also uses the party scene to continue building an aura of mystery and excitement around Gatsby, who has yet to make a full appearance in the novel.

What is the valley of Ashes and what does it symbolize quizlet?

The Valley of Ashes is the wasteland between the east and west egg. It is where the lower class lives. It symbolizes Wilson and how he is made of ashes because he repairs cars and can’t achieve the American dream.

What does GREY symbolize in the valley of Ashes?

It symbolizes decadence, bleakness, corruption and disillusionment and represents moral decay, spiritual emptiness and death. The valley of ashes is a grey place where everything is colored grey. There are also grey cars crawling along an invisible track and ash-grey men swarming up with leaden spades.

What do ashes symbolize in literature?

What is Ash Wednesday? – Ash Wednesday — officially known as the Day of Ashes — is a day of repentance, when Christians confess their sins and profess their devotion to God. During a Mass, a priest places the ashes on a worshiper’s forehead in the shape of a cross.

The ceremony, which also can be performed by a minister or pastor, is meant to show that a person belongs to Jesus Christ, and it also represents a person’s grief and mourning for their sins — the same sins that Christians believe Jesus Christ gave his life for when he died on the cross. Ash Wednesday is important because it marks the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter, when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.

The ashes symbolize both death and repentance. During this period, Christians show repentance and mourning for their sins, because they believe Christ died for them. When the priest applies the cross of ashes, he says to the worshiper: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” He also may say “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” It is not required that a worshiper wear the ashes for the rest of the day, although many Christians choose to do so.

What are the characteristics of the valley of Ashes?

The Valley of Ashes: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Robert Moses A city is unquestionably the most complex work of human art, shaped by millions, sometimes over the course of centuries. If epic poets described men in relation to nature, twentieth-century novelists have found in the city metaphors that can at once illuminate the lives of individual characters and distill the whole of human experience.

  1. Just as Dubliners take pride in the facets of their city immortalized by James Joyce, so New Yorkers take pride in the rich metaphors a host of novelists and poets have discovered in their city.
  2. It may be a source of melancholy pride that one of the most memorable descriptions in American literature was inspired by the vast cinder dump that accumulated along the west bank of the Flushing River in Corona, Queens.F.

Scott Fitzgerald described the dump as the “valley of ashes,” and the elaborate metaphor he constructed comprises a central figure in The Great Gatsby. The valley of ashes was the narrow channel through which the railroad traveler had to pass on his way between New York City and the resort villages of East and West Egg on the North Shore of Long Island.

Fitzgerald described the scene in these words: a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the form of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.

Occasionally, a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.

Above it all is Fitzgerald’s unforgettable image of a gigantic pair of bespectacled eyes brooding from an old billboard advertisement over the dismal landscape. The valley of ashes seems to mark the separation between the older American aristocracy, which once exclusively occupied East and West Egg, and the new urban Americans.

That this narrow aperture should grow from a heap of ashes and refuse suggests that in the triumph of the industrialized, commercialized, and banalized world to come, the American dream of open horizons and limitless possibilities would be reduced to a burned-out, undifferentiated mass.

There is no suggestion in Fitzgerald that this heap of ashes could change through human action or that the future could be anything but sterile. Man’s fate is to return to ashes because, as the narrator of Gatsby suggests, the verdant country which the discoverers of the American continent saw before them had been destroyed beyond reconstruction.

What, then, shall the reader make of the strange twist of fate by which the valley of ashes, that changeless emblem of man’s fate, has totally disappeared? It is as evanescent as smoke. A literary traveler visiting Corona finds not an ash dump, but Flushing Meadows park, larger even than Central Park, adorned with two lakes (one of them for sailboats), an art museum, a golf course, a zoo, the National Tennis Center, and the New York Hall of Science (which Frederick Law Olmstead once proposed to place in Morningside Park).

To find that Fitzgerald’s ghostly reality has utterly disappeared engenders an initial disappointment like the sentiment experienced by overseas admirers of Sherlock Holmes who, on their first day in London, learn that 221B Baker Street does not exist and that Baker Street itself is not narrow, dark, and gaslit, but a wide business street in which a hansom cab would be as misplaced as an elephant.

But when one visits the old site of the valley of ashes, several questions stir restlessly in one’s mind. Fitzgerald claimed that man’s future in the industrial society was as bleak as the valley of ashes. Is one to conclude from the transmutation of the valley into a verdant dell (the flowery language is almost irresistible) that Fitzgerald was completely wrong? Shall we say that Robert Moses—the man who made the valley of ashes disappear—was an artist of a different sort, one whose material was the city itself? Ironically, the very description of the valley in Gatsby, which was intended by Fitzgerald as a symbol of an unchanging fate, may have been a factor in the valley’s eventual disappearance.

  1. We know that Moses, then parks commissioner, was responsive to Fitzgerald’s description of the valley of ashes and to the book as a whole.
  2. In writing of The Great Gatsby in 1934, Moses said it “remained a good yarn even after the Depression had leveled off the moraine of gold deposited on the North Shore in the delirious Twenties.” The valley of ashes was a marshland of two to three thousand acres that surrounded the mouth of the Flushing River on the north shore of Long Island.

The major flow of water in this little river is tidal, not fresh; primarily it is an inlet into Flushing Bay, which is itself an arm of the East River. Originally, these marshes were both beautiful and biologically significant, but by 1925, when Gatsby was written, they had been fouled by the city’s garbage.

The marshes were also the final resting place for another type of city refuse—ashes. Since oil as a domestic heating fuel was virtually unknown in the 1920s, ashes were produced in vast quantities by the coal-fired burners in practically all the buildings of the city. At that time, the city’s own dumping grounds were insufficient, so it paid private operators, including the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company, for the privilege of dumping on their property.

There are still a few New Yorkers who remember the Corona dump under the ownership of the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company. Its chief executive officer, John A. “Fishhooks” McCarthy, sat under a beach umbrella on an old rocking chair, and personally tallied each truckload of material as it arrived.

The Brooklyn Ash Removal Company also allowed people to scavenge on the dump for items which had been thrown in the ash cans as they waited for the removal trucks. The scavengers were only a minor source of income, perhaps $4,000 per year at the Corona dump, but it was entirely net profit. In 1934, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia’s reform government ended privately owned dumping grounds in the city, for it was clear that public operations employing civil service workmen would be cheaper.

(The balance might be somewhat different today!) The Corona dump was designated as parkland, and the city moved to acquire the lands and property of the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company. In practice, this turned out to be difficult. “Fishhooks” McCarthy had some very good political connections, was a friend of the archdiocese, and hired excellent lawyers; but after many legal battles, by June 1934, the company agreed to sell the Corona dump and other properties to the city for $2,775,185.27.

  1. Thus, the city became the owner of the valley of ashes.
  2. Two problems remained.
  3. The first was what to do with the ashes if they were not to be put in the Corona dump.
  4. This was solved by developing large-scale landfill projects in Staten Island, Pelham Bay, and Jamaica Bay.
  5. The second problem was what to do with the Corona dump now that the city owned it.
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Robert Moses has written that the city could neither begin to pay for the cost of removing what was by then a mountain of cinders, nor pay for constructing the park. The valley of ashes might have remained indefinitely as Fitzgerald had described it were it not for the fact that Parks Commissioner Moses had several other strings to his bow.

He was at one and the same time secretary and executive chief of the Triborough Bridge Authority, which was building the bridge that would connect Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens; and he was also chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission, which was building the Grand Central Parkway to connect the Queens end of the Triborough Bridge with the central spine of Long Island.

Moses decided to use his several powers to get rid of the dump. He planned to construct the Grand Central Parkway along the western edge of the Corona-Flushing dump, cutting a path through the mountain of cinders. This scheme offered a way to begin removing the mountain: Some ashes would be needed to fill low spots on the parkway route, and some could be used to fill Horse Creek, a minor tributary of the Flushing River to the west of the Grand Central Parkway.

  1. Moses hoped to save enough money from the highway construction fund to coat the vast mountain to the east with a thin covering of topsoil and grass.
  2. Photographs of the early construction scenes of the Grand Central Parkway indicate what the area would have looked like when finished.
  3. A thin strip of landscaped roadway would have skirted the edge of the valley of ashes.

The rest would have been park in legal name only. The Flushing Meadows Park that New Yorkers know today came into existence not because the citizens of 1934 were willing to tighten their belts in order to make a park possible, nor because planners were able to persuade the state or national legislature that long-range wisdom called for a park constructed on the cinder dump.

  1. The park came about because a small band of New Yorkers thought in 1934 that the city should stage a World’s Fair in 1939 to mark the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington in New York.
  2. When this group reached Moses, and its members agreed that the Flushing Meadows would be a suitable site for the fair, he brought his influence to bear on their behalf, for he realized that if he could not get legislative money for a park, he might be able to get it for a World’s Fair.

At the very least, the fair money would pay for leveling the mountains and landscaping the terrain, and if things went well, the money would pay for the installation of many of the basic park facilities. And so it turned out, two fairs and one United Nations later, that the city got Flushing Meadows Park with hardly any basic budgetary expenditure on its own, except for the condemnation costs of acquiring the land that was needed to supplement “Fishhooks” McCarthy’s holdings and, of course, the cost of acquiring the dump from McCarthy and his company.

Although it looks easy in retrospect, the orchestration of the several projects—the Triborough Bridge, the Grand Central Parkway, the World’s Fair, the removal of the cinders, and the preparation of the park facilities—required of Moses a tyrannical mastery of raw material that resembles the activities of a composer integrating a complex symphonic score.

For example, in the late winter of 1936, six months after the original sponsors of the World’s Fair had announced their plans, Moses felt that the coordination of the parkland, the parkway, and the Triborough Bridge was imperiled by the State Legislature’s delay in voting funds for the preparation of the World’s Fair site, so he ordered the legislators to proceed at once.

Obviously, no such order would sway the legislators unless there were a threat behind it. Moses’s threat was simple: He would proceed immediately with the construction of the Grand Central Parkway at its original grade. This would have altered the whole land configuration in such a way that there would have been no basin in which to stow the cinder mountain! The legislators, faced with having to take responsibility for the failure to provide a proper setting for the fair, passed the necessary appropriation the following day.

The Moses technique was applied continually over the next year. In June, when the city received bids from contracting firms for the work of moving the cinders throughout the park area, Moses demanded that the Board of Estimate reject the two lowest bids on the grounds that the contractors were unqualified to complete their job on time.

There were noisy objections from the contractors and their lawyers, and Borough President James Lyons of the Bronx cried that he refused to be stampeded by a “speed demon”—but the Board of Estimate accepted Moses’s recommendations. Later in June 1936, after the city had acquired about five hundred acres of land to round out the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company’s holdings, Moses demanded that the buildings be evacuated so that highway construction and grading could proceed.

It may seem incredible to those who have lately tried to clear sites for public improvements, but it is a fact that residents were given thirty days from the time of acquisition until their eviction by marshals. Moses magnanimously increased this by another thirty days; but at the end of that time, the marshals descended on the remainder of what is now Flushing Meadows Park, and all its occupants left—including a tombstone manufacturer whose inventory was more difficult to move than people.

Moses has calculated that over $220 million in public funds were invested in the permanent facilities in and around Flushing Meadows Park. The largest share came from the highway funds that paid for the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway (along the east side of the park), and the Long Island Expressway.

It might be argued (and has been) that the figures are somewhat misleading because only a small part of the highway funds was actually spent on the park itself. But it can also be argued that without the highways, and the highway funds, there would be no access to the park today.

It is also true that the representatives of the people of New York City voted practically no funds from city sources for the development of the park itself. Anyone who has seen the other major parks in New York City which lack development, such as Marine Park in Brooklyn, would be skeptical of whether the city would ever have allocated enough money to develop Flushing Meadows Park.

The valley of ashes lives on only in literature. Few who spread their blankets under the trees of Flushing Meadows or play soccer on its fields are aware that they are enjoying themselves on the grounds of Fitzgerald’s wasteland. Instead of a barren wilderness, parkgoers find something closer to the haunting image at the book’s close, “a fresh green breast of the New World” that flowers for generations of New Yorkers to come.

What does the valley of Ashes foreshadow?

They are driving towards the scene of Myrtle’s death, which occurs in the valley of the ashes, a grey, barren wasteland. The name and description of the land was introduced in chapter two and it foreshadows that something lifeless, grey and empty, like death, would occur there.

Why does the train always stop in the valley of Ashes?

The fact that the train always halts in the Valley of Ashes is fitting because the setting is extremely dreary and depressing. This is because the valley is full of ashes, soot and cinders, which create a very dark and gloomy atmosphere.

How does Nick describe the valley of Ashes?

Page 26:​Nick describes the ​Valley of Ashes ○ The Valley of Ashes is halfway between West Egg and New York City. It is described as desolate, and there are ashes and smoke everywhere. There is a billboard from an old optometrist, ​the eyes of Dr.T.J. Eckleburg​that watch over everything below.

What is valley of Ashes in Great Gatsby?

About half-way between West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is the valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.

  • Nick describes what train passengers see on the way from the luxurious communities of Long Island to the more raucous opulence of New York.
  • Nick implies that the railway was constructed to run along the valley of ashes for as short a period of time as possible so as not to bother or upset the wealthy people traveling to and from the city.

Nick describes the land and structures as being built of ashes rather than simply covered in or obscured by them. This description tells readers that such a desolate place does not exist by mistake. Rather, it was created by the wealthy populations surrounding it who give no thought to populations without as much money.

The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute, and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.

Nick explains that while he is riding the train to the city with Tom, Tom uses the stopped train as an opportunity to go get Myrtle, his mistress, from her husband’s car repair shop and bring her with them on the train. The night Nick spends with them quickly descends into debauchery, violence, and intoxication, all activities of which Nick does not approve.

The fact that he begins this story with the description of the valley of ashes and why the train has to stop there shows that he sees the valley as a symbol of not only social decay but moral depravity as well. Then the valley of ashes opened out on both sides of us, and I had a glimpse of Mrs. Wilson straining at the garage pump with panting vitality as we went by.

As Nick rides the train through the valley of ashes into the city with Gatsby, he notices Myrtle Wilson working at her husband’s shop. This visual contrasts Myrtle’s lifestyle with that of Daisy and Jordan, who are usually described as resting in Daisy’s home, never even close to “straining” or “panting.” Just as the physical desolation of the valley of ashes is in direct contrast to the beauty of East Egg and West Egg, so are the lifestyles of those who live there.

When I passed the ashheaps on the train that morning I had crossed deliberately to the other side of the car. The morning after Daisy hits Myrtle with Gatsby’s car and kills her, Nick cannot bring himself to look at the scene of the crime on his way to work. Nick has already seen the valley of ashes as the idea of social and moral decay brought to life.

Now, at the scene of Myrtle’s untimely death, which will go unpunished as a result of Daisy’s wealth and privilege, he cannot even bear to look at a place of such hopelessness. Wilson’s glazed eyes turned out to the ashheaps, where small gray clouds took on fantastic shapes and scurried here and there in the faint dawn wind.

  • After Myrtle’s death, Michaelis talks to George Wilson, trying to comfort him.
  • Here, Michaelis notes Wilson looking out to the valley of ashes, as if the landscape is speaking to him.
  • Later, as if revealing the ashes’ profound effect on him, George will kill the person he believes to be responsible for his wife’s death and then kill himself.

George’s evolution shows how living in such a place as the valley of ashes, made desolate and hopeless by exploiting the poor, can ruin a person’s spirit.

What might you consider symbolic about the valley of Ashes and the Eyes of Dr TJ Eckleburg?

What is symbolic about the ‘valley of ashes,’ and ‘the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg’? The Valley of Ashes (Gray feeling) symbolizes the moral decay, dismal (pollution) hidden by the beautiful facades of the Eggs. West Egg and East Egg have the same ugliness as the Valley of Ashes.

What is the significance of the valley of the Ashes What images does Fitzgerald use to describe the landscape?

Fitzergerald uses an agricultural image to describe the bleakness of the town: ‘ A fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally with a transcendent effort of men who move dimly and already crumbling

What is the valley of Ashes quote?

This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.

What does East Egg symbolize?

East Egg is symbolic of class and society in the novel. Most who lived in East Egg had well-known family names in society. They were born into wealth and were already established in society. West Egg was symbolic of wealth and power.

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What do East Egg and West Egg represent?

In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste.

What is the symbolic word of ash?

The Origin of Ash Wednesday and the Use of Ashes The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times (Esther 4:1; Job 42:6; Daniel 9:3; Jonah 3:5‐6). Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality, and penance. The Old Testament examples give us evidence both a recognized practice of using ashes and a common understanding of their symbolism.

Jesus himself also made reference to ashes (Matthew 11:21). The early Church continued the usage of ashes for the same symbolic reasons. In his book, De Poenitentia, Tertullian (c.160‐220) prescribed that the penitent must “live without joy in the roughness of sackcloth and the squalor of ashes.” Eusebius (260‐340), the famous early Church historian, recounted in his The History of the Church how an apostate named Natalis came to Pope Zephyrinus clothed in sackcloth and ashes begging forgiveness.

Also, during this time, for those who were required to do public penance, the priest sprinkled ashes on the head of the person leaving confession. In the Middle Ages (8th century), those who were about to die were laid on the ground on top of sackcloth sprinkled with ashes.

All of these examples, the symbolism of mourning, mortality, and penance is clear. Eventually, the use of ashes was adapted to mark the beginning of Lent, the 40‐day preparation period (not including Sundays) for Easter. The ritual for the “Day of Ashes” is found in the earliest editions of the Gregorian Sacramentary which dates at least to the 8th century.

Since the Middle Ages, the Church has used ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year.

The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, “Remember, that are dust, and to dust you shall return,” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” When we begin the holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins.

We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.

Holy Spirit Parish Ash Wednesday Schedule February 17, 2021 (Wednesday) 8:30AM Livestream Mass 12:05PM Liturgy of the Word 5:00PM Outdoor Mass

: The Origin of Ash Wednesday and the Use of Ashes

What is the spiritual meaning of ash?

Ash – Life Force Genus: Fraxinus – Family: Oleaceae Ash trees are associated with life force energy, creative expression and the power of the spoken word. They inspire us to sense the energy of the words we hear to understand their true meaning. The first letter “A” in the English alphabet is directly related to Ansuz, the fourth letter in the Elder Futhark of the Proto-Germanic language.

Ansuz literally meant the “breath” or “mouth” of an ash or oak. The Anglo-Saxon’s split the Ansuz rune into three sounds: “o” (mouth), “ac” (oak) and “ae” (ash). Ash as ” ae” formed the words aether “luminous air” or “divine breath,” and aeon “life force” or “eternity.” Life force, also known as Ayu or Prana in Sanskrit, Chi in Chinese and Od (Odic force) in German are seen as all-pervasive.

In Hebrew, Ruach meaning spirit, was seen as the wind or “breath of life.” Ruach Elohim literally means, “spirit” or “breath of the most-strong”. What Does The Valley Of Ashes Symbolize Ash is often associated with Yggdrasill (Odin’s horse) known as the World Tree. This occurred because ash and oak were so closely connected through the Norse god Odin. In reality, the yew was the tree of Yggdrasil, because yew was called “needle ash”. The genus name Fraxinus in Latin, means “firelight.” The word “ash” is also used to describe the solid remains of a fire.

The concept of “ash to ash, dust to dust” speaks to the transcendent nature of the ash spirit. There are 45-65 species of ash that are native to Europe, Asia, Northern Egypt and North America. All belong to the olive family. The European ash, Fraxinus excelsior or common ash produces hard yet flexible wood.

It is a large deciduous tree that can grow to be 150 ft. tall and live to be 250 years old. Ash trees actually helped inspire the age of transportation. Ash wood was used to build chariots, wagons, carriages and even early model cars. In 1903 the Wright brothers built the Flyer 1 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using ash for its strong yet lightweight and flexible nature.

  • The seeds of an ash are commonly known as “keys” or “helicopter seeds,” as another reminder for us to flow with the wind.
  • Message: Ash asks us to be aware of our breath and our words for they fuel our life force.
  • Trees are often referred to as the lungs of our planet for they breathe in what we breathe out.

In this way, we fuel each other. This is a time of spiritual transformation. We are being asked to make choices that impact us on a material level, but are equally important to our soul. Challenge: Feeling depleted or suffocated by oppressive thinking that boxes us in or limits our potential.

Not being able to dream. If you liked what you read and want more. you may be interested in having the actual guidebook and card deck. The 204 page full-color book is sold separately from the cards. My goal is to find a publisher who can offer this as a set. In the meantime, you can purchase either the book or cards via these links.

Thank you for you support. Laural Tree Spirit Tarot – Return to the Garden of our Soul Tree Spirit Tarot book available at: Amazon Tree Spirit Tarot deck available at: Printers Studio For more information visit: lauralwauters.com

What is the valley of Ashes compared to?


“That locality is always vaguely disquieting, even in the broad glare of afternoon, and now I turned my head as though I had been warned of something behind. Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleberg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that someone’s eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away”(Fitzgerald 124). The eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleberg watches over all the characters while they live in what they consider the “American dream”. The Great Gatsby, a historical fiction novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, speaks to the readers about the illusion of the American dream. Gatsby’s life and death is a product of an illusion because of Gatsby’s determination for wealth in his youth, the unlawful money he receives, and Gatsby’s love for “old money”. Many times we hear of society’s affect on people; society influencing the way people think and act. Hardly mentioned is the reverse: peoples’ actions and lifestyles affecting society as a whole and how it is characterized. Thus, society is a reflection of its inhabitants and in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is a wasteland described as the “valley of ashes.” Since the characters of this novel make up this wasteland, aren’t they the waste? Symbolically, this waste represents the lack of ethics of the 1920’s society and civilization’s decay. In The Great Gatsby, morals deficiencies such as a lack of God, selfishness, and idleness are reflective of a society as doomed as The author uses the Valley of Ashes, a small town between the West Egg and New York City, to symbolize the moral and social decay that stems from the desire to become wealthy. The Valley of Ashes, “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air symbolizes a morally stripped place where materialistic and false people can live in harmony. The unfortunate events that occur in the Valley of Ashes, including Gatsby’s death, the affair between Tom and Myrtle and Myrtle’s accidental death, represent the severe consequences stemming from the failed attempts at achieving the American Dream. As the characters travel through the Valley of Ashes to reach elsewhere, they are forced to belittle themselves to a lower social status, as seen when Tom engages in an affair with Myrtle, a poor-stricken woman, who solely provides another form of comfort. Serving as a symbol of social and moral destruction, the Valley of Ashes also symbolizes the condition in which the poorer American society lived during the 1920s. The description of the Valley of Ashes used through color symbolism, creates a melancholy atmosphere which allows the reader to connect the importance of the “desolate strip of land” to the negative personality changes, reflective of the 1920s, within the characters. The Great Gatsby as Fitzgerald’s explanation of an American Reality which contradicts the American Dream As Gatsby reaches out across the bay the green light evades his grasp, the elusive future receding from his myopic viewpoint. Through the course of time America has been referred to as the Land of the free and opportunity, but as times have changed so have American viewpoints. In The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald creates a love affair based in 1922 using juxtaposition to create a parallel between realist and idealistic views on wealth to reveal the demise of the American Dream in what is known as the Roaring Twenties. From the text, choose 5 words that reflect the valley of ashes. You cannot pick the words valley or ashes. The Valley of Ashes setting in The Great Gatsby represents the theme of the extreme difference in social classes in New York during the early 1900’s. The ideology that the Great Gatsby is only filled with liveliness and wealth is wrong. There is whole other side of the wealth spectrum that nobody cares about. The difference in materialistic items from the two places was incredible but it was in the “. a factual imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy,.”(Fitzgerald 5). that was the main factor. The level of houses in West Egg was beyond extravagant; they were magnificent. This compared to the buildings in the Valley of Ashes, was like missing a free throw twenty yards wide. The quality of the Valley of Ashes was like having “. a small block of yellow brick sitting on the edge of a wasteland,.”(Fitzgerald 24). The quality difference is too intense to be true, yet it is. The money of wealth of one person, except Nick, can buy all the homes in Valley of Ashes. Just by the type of homes there are, it is like it is a whole other world. The valley of ashes is described as “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (23). The valley of ashes represents all of the dreams that died in the city and were never lived out, almost a valley of regrets. “Men move dimly” (23) because they have nothing left to live for, because all of their dreams are dead, just like the ashes. The gray cars go by and stir up a cloud of hope, and the ash-men pick up “their leaden spades” (23) and carry out their “obscure operations” (23), trying to relive their dreams to get a second chance. Gatsby lost Daisy when he was very young, and that crushed

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The Valley of Ashes is a place of uninterrupted desolation, and is inhabited by poorer individuals like George and Myrtle Wilson. It is a miserable place that connects Long Island with Manhattan, and Fitzgerald uses it to denote the politics of that day. It lacks the stylish suburban allure of West and East Egg, and is a barren wasteland that symbolizes the moral decay of all classes in the capitalist society of 1920s America. Moreover, the Valley of Ashes is a reflection of the destruction of morals hidden by the facades of the Eggs, and Fitzgerald uses it to indicate that beneath the garish ornamentation of West Egg, and the mannered pretense of East Egg, lies the same ugliness that is in the valley. He depicts it as a place plagued with such The chapter starts off by immediately introduces us to this bland and melancholy place between West Egg and New York City called the valley of ashes. The people who live here are described as ash and burnt out, they have low social status and extremely hard-working. Above this valley is the billboard “Doctor T.J. Eckleburg” where there are two eyeballs with spectacles looking from above. Tom forcefully takes Nick on the train to see his “girl” in this valley. They arrive to an automotive shop that hasn’t seen business in years and meet George B. Wilson. George asks Tom when he will sell him his car, only to be shut down by Tom. Then a sexy woman appears, almost the exact opposite of beautiful Daisy. Her name is Myrtle and is currently married In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the valley of ashes, an industrial wasteland between West Egg and Manhattan, is a “solemn dumping ground,” (24) characterized by its imagery of dust and “ash-gray men” (25). Above all, the decrepit billboard of the defunct oculist Dr.T.J. Eckleburg watches over the gray landscape where George and Myrtle Wilson live above their dusty garage. George Wilson, a poor resident of the valley of ashes, physically blends into his surroundings, “mingling immediately with the cement color of the walls,” (26) making him the human embodiment of the valley. Next to the valley is West Egg, home to those with new money, like Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s life is the idyllic picture of the new world in the roaring twenties, where every person has an equal opportunity for success through hard work and tenacity. However, Fitzgerald uses “The valley of ashes” as a setting to define Myrtle and her attitudes throughout the story. The valley of ashes is an isolated region between East and West Egg. Many people only travel through that area when it is deemed necessary, and the people who did live there did so because that’s what they could afford. “This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally with translucent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” (Fitzgerald 4) The author uses words such as “grotesque” and “crumbling” to indicate the presence of a falling province. Fitzgerald’s Rich versus poor, the difference is clear. The valley of ashes is a gloomful, lifeless place where the poor are left exhausted and looking for something higher to believe in. The rich live on the Eggs, old money on the East island and new money on the West island. People from old money are from British descent and do not need to work to live their luxurious lifestyles. People with new money are from German or Irish descent and are typically political or theatrical people. Wealthy persons live a colorful, exciting life without stress or need of a higher power.F. Scott Fitzgerald utilizes the valley of ashes to symbolize how the time and energy spent by the rich, both new and old money, neglect the poor in his novel The Great Gatsby. There are times when reality falls short of expectations, and when individuals fail to live up to their ideals. This struggle can come in the form of one specific event, or an overall life philosophy. The quest to attain what we really want can be an all encompassing one, requiring all of our devotion and effort. It is especially painful to see others possess what we cannot have. For the characters in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby these problems are all too real. Gatsby works for a lifetime to gain back what he feels is rightfully his, while all the while facing the crushing realization that he may be too late. Fitzgerald uses this futile search to introduce the idea that the idealized America Gatsby fought for has been corrupted over It is often said that certain literary works and characters within such works represent real-world issues. In the work The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the character of Gatsby is shrouded in ambiguity to the reader, providing them with a possibility for personal interpretation. In the work, Gatsby’s character develops from a character representing materialism and a fixation on status to one filled with humility and selflessness for his romantic devotion towards the character of Daisy. Through this shift, the reader is provided with insight in order to draw parallels between Gatsby and two distinct periods in American history. The materialistic side of Gatsby, driven by wealth and his status in Long Island, represents the moral corruption and materialistic desires of America in the 1920s, whereas the romantically devoted Gatsby represents wartime America, devoted to sacrifice and nobility. The contrast within the life of Gatsby allows for a profound insight into the significance of the work as a representation of changing American values.

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What images are associated with the valley of Ashes?

What does the Valley of Ashes symbolize in The Great Gatsby? – To fully understand what does the Valley of Ashes symbolize we shall walk through so many layers of symbols that are installed into every description of this place. In ” The Great Gatsby ” the Valley of Ashes is everything that is not the world of the riches.

  • This is anti-American dream.
  • The only dream the inhabitants of the Valley are capable for is to get out of that place as fast as possible.
  • Let us look at the first time Nick and Tom enter the Valley.
  • The first obstacle that prevents them from entering is a river.
  • Their car has to wait in the long queue of the identical cars, on the bank that is full of life and color.

The passengers have to observe the ashen landscape for all this time. The very description of the Valley of Ashes symbolizes here the underworld. The shadow realm, separated from the world of living beings by the river Styx. The author deliberately underlines the contrast between the barren wasteland of the Valley and the bright world of Tom and Nick.

  1. Moreover, the very purpose of the Valley is incomprehensible for Tom and Nick.
  2. They get annoyed because they can’t cross the bridge: the barges have to move first.
  3. The bitter irony is that they are businessmen and the products that the barges transport are their direct income depends on the ships that annoy them so much.

Neither of them thinks about it, they are unable to admire and enjoy their own money parading in front of them. Watch out! This sample can be used by anyone Create your own unique sample on “The Valley of Ashes Symbolism” and get results in 15 min with Smart AI Tool create my unique sample *Service is provided by writing AI tool essayAI Another prominent aspect of the Valley of Ashes and, possibly, the only bright spark in it, is the giant advertisement board of the optometry with the disembodied blue eyes looking down to all the Valley.

  • The board is miraculously not covered by ash like everything around.
  • This image is very powerfully described by the author and all the readers will definitely remember it.
  • But why the author placed it here? Who “watches” the people who live in the valley of ashes? The literature experts support two major versions: the coloured eyes represent the world of the riches – the people who can be bright and beautiful, who will always look at the dwellers of the Valley from above.

They are too high to reach, almost in Heavens – but if someone climbs as high (as Gatsby did) they will see that these people are fake, flat and shallow like the advertisement board with a pretty picture on it. Another version, that is much more popular, that these blue eyes that lack the rest of the body, represent God Himself.

  • The look isn’t compassionate, it shows neither wrath nor sorrow.
  • The sad symbolism of the advertisement board is in the fact that even God doesn’t care about the Valley of Ashes and looks at the sufferings of the people there with indifference – the same they express while looking to the grey sky.
  • The color itself is very important in ” The Great Gatsby “.

To be colorful is a privilege of the riches. When we see Tom talking to the Wilson, we see this contrast in all its ugly sharpness. Tom is loud and colorful, lively and falsely enjoying the meeting. He occupies all the space, just staying calmly. Wilson, on the contrary, lacks colors.

  • The ash covers his clothes, skin and hair, even his eyes aren’t bright too.
  • His voice is as dull as the rest of his appearance.
  • But when we see his wife Myrtle, clearly showing her affection towards Tom, we have a different feeling.
  • Myrtle steps closer to Tom and immediately she looks more lively and colorful.

Of course she didn’t have time to wash the ash from her hair and face. The color here is a symbol of wealth and status. Agreeing to the role of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle receives just a drop of it, but it is enough for her to start dreaming and feeling again.

The woman sees the chance to leave the Valley, even through the love affair, and it becomes her driving force. The second time we see the Valley of Ashes is when Gatsby takes Nick with him. This time author stresses not the shadowy appearance of the place. It looks perfectly material, but now Valley is just a moral trash bin for the rest of the city.

At first time Tom started a very unsetting affair here after threatening the husband of her mistress. But Tom is an antagonist, so we don’t expect anything less from him. Now we see shocked Nick and Gatsby – who behaved as a perfect gentleman before – showing his darker side.

At first he calmly takes gratitude from the policeman (who was intended to fine them) and explain to Nick that the police here knows him because he has connections and helped them with something illegal, possibly drugs or alcohol. This is not the only case. Every time the Valley is shown something bad and amoral happens.

When Daisy finally comes to meet Gatsby there, the ashen curse is lifted for a moment with Gatsby’s unconditional and incredible love, but then the ash takes its toll: Daisy refuses to stay with Gatsby and Myrtle dies in the car accident that later will become the cause of Gatsby’s death too.

The last time we see the Valley of Ashes is when we even not present there. In the very final of the story, when Gatsby is in the pool, we see him completely broken. The symbolism of the Valley as the shadow world returns in full extent. Gatsby sees as the world surrounding him starts to become monochrome, like ash falling from the sky covers it.

The colors become more and more unreal, fake (as the advertisement board in the Valley) and when the process is complete, Wilson’s silhouette, covered with the real ash, looks like Grim Reaper who came for his victim. The symbolism of this scene (except the obvious symbols of death) sums up the whole aesop of the novel.

The ash that is corruption and shallowness, isn’t limited with the borders of the Valley of the Ashes. It covers all the city, all the deranged and hypocritical society that created the physical Valley. We can’t say for sure what does the Valley of Ashes most likely symbolize in “The Great Gatsby”, there are too many layers of it, but the overall impression created by it is an image of the society that is dead inside, eaten alive by ash and stripped of colors of the real dream.

Even Gatsby, who constantly recites his own moral code, just to remember that he is a different person, that he is alive, is finally broken and metaphorically devoured by ash. The only survivor left intact is Nick. In the end of the story he leaves the city and his girlfriend (who appears to be a member of the same shallow and bigoted upper crust of the society), feeling deep disgust towards anything and anyone there.

He is also the only one to arrange the funeral of Gatsby. It is strange: giving a person a funeral is the duty of every person with at least some morals inside. Even in the war the soldiers buried their enemies – but here, in prosperous city no one bothered to give the last honors to the man who invited them to the parties every night.

As long as Gatsby was respected, they treated him as equal. But after he was revealed as a bootlegger and criminal, he is no more useful for the society. This fact is the last straw for Nick who now sees with his own eyes, how irredeemably flawed these people is.

  • The only person he is glad to see at the funeral is Gatsby’s father, who, despite his own flaws, came to say farewell to his son.
  • On the last pages we see Tom and Daisy leaving the city – still as a couple – hoping to leave behind what happened also.
  • But as we could see before, the ash, evil and corruption aren’t limited by geographic location.

The Buchanans take the part of the Valley of Ashes in their very souls, to be with them wherever they are going to travel.

What is the tone of the valley of Ashes?

The introduction of the valley of ashes creates a dismal tone, as well: this area of New York greatly contrasts what we’ve learned about West/East Egg. The rest of the chapter-the apartment party-evokes an aloof tone.

How is the valley of ashes described in The Great Gatsby?

This is a valley of ashes — a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.

How does Nick describe the valley of Ashes?

Page 26:​Nick describes the ​Valley of Ashes ○ The Valley of Ashes is halfway between West Egg and New York City. It is described as desolate, and there are ashes and smoke everywhere. There is a billboard from an old optometrist, ​the eyes of Dr.T.J. Eckleburg​that watch over everything below.

What is the valley of ashes that Tom and Nick pass on the train?

Nick describes a desolate area between West Egg and New York City. He calls it a ‘Valley of Ashes,’ because it’s where ashes from the city are dumped.

What does Gatsby’s mansion symbolize?

Gatsby’s mansion symbolizes two broader themes of the novel. First, it represents the grandness and emptiness of the 1920s boom: Gatsby justifies living in it all alone by filling the house weekly with “celebrated people.” Second, the house is the physical symbol of Gatsby’s love for Daisy,