How would you describe the effects of living in the "valley of ashes" probably had on George and Myrtle Wilson?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ecology of the valley of the ashes has been destroyed by man along the ethical values than men have clung to for centuries. The only thing left is a large billboard with the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg looking down at the inhabitants, imploring them to put on glasses so they can see clearly. By living in the valley of the ashes George and Myrtle Wilson are impacted by these loss of values. For Myrtle, who is able to see the wealth of both Long Island and New York, can only serve to intensify her longing for something better. She gets involved with Tom Buchanan because, in him, she thinks she can have a better life. However, he is a mean, selfish lover who does not seem to really mourn her horrible death but uses it to get even with Gatsby. For George, living in the valley of the ashes also points out his shortcomings as a provider. Selling gas to people from both East and West Egg who have beautiful cars and fine clothes probably makes him long to be able to provide those for Myrtle and himself. When she is killed by "a big yellow car" that belongs to one of those rich people, George does not look for justice in the law, but decides to take justice into his own hands. But, he cannot see clearly and ends up taking vengeance on the wrong person. By the end of the novel, both George and Myrtle have been destroyed by the lack of values living in the valley of the ashes represents.

abygirlb | Student

The valley of ashes is a place where you could be very depressed and that's why myrtle was looking for something more in her life and not another George Wilson. when she found tom Buchanan she was thrilled about it