Fitzgerald’s depiction of the valley of ashes speaks directly to his criticism of the American Dream
Fitzgerald’s depiction of the valley of ashes speaks directly to his criticism of the American Dream. The valley is on the other side of the city hidden beneath the glamorous lives of Daisy, Tom, Gatsby and Nick. While the wealthy frolic, the people in the valley of ashes are increasingly buried by the literal ashes created by industrial pollution.
The Valley of Ashes thus represents the great difference between the rich and the poor, and the hypocrisy of the American Dream.
The valley is created through industrial dumping and thus a by-product of capitalism. The people and also the environmental are suffering. Tom, Daisy, and Jordan, with their empty, void lives, are the characters represented as the formless bodies of ashes in the valley of ashes. The ashes are symbols of dead, with more self-centered and arrogant people arising from them. Every generation, the ashes pile distorting the American Dream further.