In The Great Gatsby, why is the setting important?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The setting of the novel is important, in part, because it provides a great cover for Gatsby and Daisy's affair. It also symbolizes the social strata in this society. It is also important to the plot of the novel; Nick came "East" because he returned from the Great War a bit disillusioned with his home and in need of some place new.  

Daisy can go to West Egg, the less fashionable of the two Eggs, to conduct her affair with Gatsby because it seems so far away from any place that her husband would willingly go himself.  In considering its residents beneath his notice, Tom makes it a relative safe haven for his wife to meet her lover. 

The tension between Tom and Gatsby is also dramatized by their respective homes: Gatsby might be able to acquire wealth equal to Tom's, but he cannot change his status (something he never really grasps).  He can become rich, but he cannot become "old money."  Further, the difference between Wilson and Gatsby is also dramatized by their homes: Wilson works so...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 785 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on