Compare and contrast East Egg to West Egg in The Great Gatsby.

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As has already been suggested, East Egg is the place where the established wealthy people live.  The homes are old and classic, and there are all the accoutrements of the rich--such as stables and polo fields.  Tom and Daisy live here.  It's the more sedate and dignified of the two Eggs.

West Egg is where the rich Gatsby lives, it's true--but right next to his new, European-inspired mansion is Nick's $80-a-month shack.  Gatsby's money is "new," and he would have had no option to build in East Egg.  Instead, he builds an out-of-place home on West Egg.

Interestingly enough, though, there are plenty of East Egg men and women who show up at Gatsby's parties with people other than their spouses and act like drunken fools once they're there.  Apparently the behavior while on the East Egg must be proper and appropriate to the dignity of "old" money.  A visit to the West Egg, however, aparently allows them to be as wild and dissolute as they wish. 

This dichotomy of East and West Egg appearance and behavior is one of the great hypocrisies found in this novel. 

muck09's profile pic

muck09 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

East egg was a place that had beenaround for awhile where as West egg was were everyone come in wanted to be.

toshortforu's profile pic

toshortforu | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

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East egg is old money, people who grew up with money, and West egg is new money, people who just got their money

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