West Egg, especially, still figures in my more fantastic dreams. I see it as a night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen, overhanging sky and a lustreless moon.

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter IX) on Rap Genius

Meaning

As Nick recalls the disruptive, corrupt lifestyle of the East compared to the Mid-West, he recalls West Egg especially. Nick compares the egg to his “fantastic dreams,” perhaps suggesting that all of it’s inhabitants were not real, but simply putting up a facade, much as dreams have the ability to seem real, yet are not.

By comparing West Egg to a night scene created by “El Greco,” a Greek-born, spanish renaissance artist of the 14th and 15th century, Nick once again alludes to his belief that the East, and West Egg in particular, is simply a facade of the American Dream. The houses are described as “conventional” and “grotesque,” suggesting that they supply for the need of shelter, yet take on the unnatural facade of the East as its inhabitants attempt to attain their American Dream through false materialism.

The picture suggests what a West Egg house might appear compared to an East Egg house (below)

The imagery of a “sullen, overhanging sky and a lustreless moon” suggest that this is not the natural American Dream, and that nature is depressed.

This is especially true when Nick describes how he imagined the Island as the Dutch arrived:a “flowering island” and a “fresh green breast of the new world,” (180).

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