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Chapter 2 starts with Tom and Nick getting off the train in the valley of ashes. The setting for the location of the dwelling of Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson , could not be more appropriate. Nick's observation was "that this shadow of a garage must be a blind, and that...

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Chapter 2 starts with Tom and Nick getting off the train in the valley of ashes. The setting for the location of the dwelling of Tom's mistress, Myrtle Wilson, could not be more appropriate. Nick's observation was "that this shadow of a garage must be a blind, and that sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead." The reality is that the office/apartment over the garage was coated with the ashes that covered everything in that location. The romantic apartment for Tom and Myrtle was in New York City, "the cab stopped at one slice in a long white cake of apartment-houses...a small living-room, a small dining-room, a small bedroom, and a bath." As the evening progresses, the party reveals the conflicting viewpoints and backgrounds of the persons attending the gathering and the contrasts between the reality of the situations in which they were living and their fantasies of what perhaps could be.

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