1st June 2018

Valley of Ashes paragraph

The Valley of Ashes represents the American Dream. It does this by failing the hard workers that live there, not giving them a chance to succeed in life as much as others may. The people who live in the Valley of Ashes are failed by the American Dream because of where they live which does not give them the opportunity of succeeding, like the people who live in New York. The American Dream is represented by the Valley of Ashes by making life a lot harder for the people who living there, those who have to work a lot harder for a living. This is shown in the text by “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.” The Valley of Ashes is described as powdery meaning their life can slip through their fingers so easily just like dust. This shows how the American Dream is not in their favour by the Valley of Ashes bringing the novel back to something closer to reality. Their world is not as privilege as what Gatsby’s is since he can throw lavish parties at his mansion wheres these people are working all day long just to survive. The crash of Gatsby’s car happens in the Valley of Ashes and this portrays the failure to the American Dream. The car represents wealth and how that can come crashing down so quickly and easily like the American Dream. The American Dream can very easily and quickly be snatched away from people like Myrtle Wilson who was hoping to get out of town with Tom, but instead got hit full force by ‘The American Dream.’ This was too much for her to handle. The people who live in the Valley of Ashes are unable to escape the American Dream and will keep possessing them until the end.

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  1. Hi Kate!

    As we move into our final piece of writing around Gatsby, I want you to think about the following things:

    • avoid circular comments. You repeat the same comment several times in this paragraph and alter the words slightly each time. It detracts from the points you are trying to put forward.
    • look carefully at how you are expressing your ideas. Are you choosing the correct words or phrasing things in a way that makes your point clear to your reader.

    We can discuss this more in class and I can point out some of the parts of this paragraph that I think intrude on your presentation of the setting and its American Dream symbolism.

    Mrs. P

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