Can you describe the morality of valley of ashes?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were two opposing moralities in the area known as the valley of ashes.  One morality was held by Myrtle.  Myrtle felt that she'd been cheated by life; that she deserved more simply because she wanted more.  She was attracted to a person because of superficial appearances.  She tells Nick that what drew her to Tom at first was his shirt - she was impressed by his obvious wealth.  She donned new clothes as new as she got to the apartment in New York City that Tom and she shared. She told her husband George that she was upset with him because when they'd married, he didn't even have a new suit to wear.  She was very shallow and self-serving.  The other morality was upheld by George.  George Wilson couldn't conceive of immorality in anyone he trusted.  He trusted Myrtle and was so upset when he realized she'd been cheating on him that it made him physically ill.  Compare that to the anger Tom Buchanan displayed when he found out that his wife was cheating on him.  Another aspect to George's morality, though, was the "eye for an eye" moral statute.  When he thinks Jay Gatsby hit and killed Myrtle, George doesn't wait for the police to bring justice.  He takes justice into his own hands and kills Jay Gatsby himself.