knowing that their money will shield them from ever having to face any negative consequences ● Nick muses that this story is a story of the West even though it has taken place entirely on the East Coast
● Nick, Jordan, Tom, and Daisy are all from west of the Appalachians, and Nick believes that the reactions of each, himself included, to living the fast-paced, lurid lifestyle of the East has shaped his or her behavior ● Nick remembers life in the Midwest, full of snow, trains, and Christmas wreaths, and thinks that the East seems grotesque and distorted by comparison ● On his last night in West Egg before moving back to Minnesota, Nick walks over to Gatsby’s empty mansion and erases an obscene word that someone has written on the steps ● He sprawls out on the beach behind Gatsby’s house and looks up ○ As the moon rises, he imagines the island with no houses and considers what it must have looked like to the explorers who discovered the New World centuries before ● He imagines that America was once a goal for dreamers and explorers, just as Daisy was for Gatsby. ● He pictures the green land of America as the green light shining from Daisy’s dock, and muses that Gatsby failed to realize that the dream had already ended, that his goals had become hollow and empty ● Gatsby—whose wealth and success so closely echo the American dream ● Nick senses that people everywhere are motivated by similar dreams and by a desire to move forward into a future in which their dreams are realized ○ Nick visualizes their struggles to create that future as boats moving in a body of water against a current that inevitably carries them back into the past ● “ I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all—Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.”
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