The Great Gatsby

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The Valley of Ashes Symbol Icon
An area halfway between New York City and West Egg, the Valley of Ashes is an industrial wasteland covered in ash and soot. If New York City represents all the "mystery and beauty in the world," and West Egg represents the people who have gotten rich off the roaring economy of the Roaring Twenties, the Valley of Ashes stands for the dismal ruin of the people caught in between.
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The Valley of Ashes Symbol Timeline in The Great Gatsby

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Valley of Ashes appears in The Great Gatsby. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Roaring Twenties Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
Past and Future Theme Icon
...dumped. The ashes cover everything, including the men who live there. Above this bleak " Valley of Ashes " stare out two huge spectacled eyes from a billboard for an eye doctor's defunct... (full context)
Chapter 7
Class (Old Money, New Money, No Money) Theme Icon
...car is low on gas, though, and Tom pulls in to Wilson's Garage in the Valley of Ashes . (full context)