How is setting portrayed in a work of Modernism such as the Great Gatsby?

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janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Modernism here on enotes is described as the concerns of the accelerating pace of society toward destruction and meaninglessness. Think about how this relates to the setting of the Great Gatsby. As in all of Fitzgerald's stories, the setting is a crucial part of The Great Gatsby. West and East are two opposing poles of values: one is pure and idealistic, and the other is corrupt and materialistic. The way the characters line up morally correlates with their geographical choice of lifestyle. Fitzgerald was writing a story in the dangers of a society growing too fast, and not being aware or even concerend about the growth, or the easily spent money of the rich. The one setting that encompasses this completely is the eyes of Dr. Eckle-burg, which preside over the valley of ashheaps between New York City and Long Islandnear Wilson's garage. There are no spiritual values in a place where money reigns: the traditional ideas of God and Religion are dead here, and the American dream is direly corrupted. IT is similar to T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"

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The Great Gatsby

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