It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York — and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land.

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

Meaning

Fitzgerald uses his description of the land to also describe the dynamics of the people who live on that land.

The island in New York with East and West Egg is extended “due east of New York,” emphasizing the separateness of the class of people who live on the island. As their homes are separate from the greater New York area, their lives are also separate in that they live lives of luxury completely untainted by the same stresses and worries less wealthy people might have to worry about.

Fitzgerald describes the two areas of East and West Egg as “unusual formations of land”. These jutted out parts of New York are “unusual” in their ability to be so completely secluded to a world filled with lavish parties and nearly immune to the troubles other people face, such as the people in the valley of ashes

In another sense, these formations of land are “unusual” in that both areas are equally wealthy but not socially equal because the social value of the wealth in East Egg is greater than that of West Egg due to the age of the wealth.

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