When do we find out that East Egg is old money and West Egg is new money in The Great Gatsby?

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To answer this question, take a look at Chapter One. From Nick 's description, it is clear that West Egg and East Egg are home to very different sorts of people. He says that West Egg, for instance, is the "less fashionable of the two," while East Egg is home...

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To answer this question, take a look at Chapter One. From Nick's description, it is clear that West Egg and East Egg are home to very different sorts of people. He says that West Egg, for instance, is the "less fashionable of the two," while East Egg is home to rows of "white palaces."

The divide between old money and new money is really made clear in the next paragraph when Nick describes Tom Buchanan, his cousin's husband. He says, for example, that Tom's family were "enormously wealthy," a sign that Tom comes from old money.

In fact, as his description goes on, we see that Tom is the very epitome of old money. When he moved to East Egg, for instance, Tom brought with him a string of polo ponies. The game polo is traditionally associated with old money. Moreover, the idea that Tom was wealthy enough to do this also reinforces the idea of inherited, older wealth.

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That West Egg is new money and East Egg is old money is clear early in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald).  As Nick is explaining his new residence, he takes the time to explain the difference.  West Egg is "the less fashionable of the two" (9), but it is nevertheless quite expensive, with places that rent out for the summer season for "twelve to fifteen thousand" (9).  We know this is the place for the wealthy by virtue of the rental prices, but we know it is a place for the nouveau riche because these mansions are very large, tasteless, and "spanking new" (9). Across the bay, we have "the white palaces of fashionable East Egg" (10) that glitter discreetly on the water. They were not thrown up overnight, nor are they over the top with tacky features.  Nick seems quite eager to justify his own presence in West Egg, where he clearly does not belong. Gatsby is his West Egg neighbor, his cousin Daisy is a denizen of East Egg, and Gatsby, who has more money than he knows what to do with, does not really understand how large a divide this is. 

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