The Great Gatsby Part 2: Glittering Eggs

East Egg: East coast, old money, and ponies. Maybe unicorns. Those snotty East Eggers won’t tell us anything. West Egg: West coast, new money, and self-made. Definitely no unicorns. Click on the video to learn more about the differences between East Egg and West Egg.

LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureThe Great Gatsby

Transcript

00:15

Let's talk about the place.

00:17

What's the difference between East Egg and West Egg?

00:21

I normally think of it as the east coast and the west coast

00:24

of the United States. Because the east coast

00:26

is considered the old money.

00:28

And then the west coast is where all these

00:30

crazy people went out west and created their own lives

00:34

out there.

00:35

Wherever it comes from, we have this idea that the east

00:38

is this more traditional...

00:40

And, in this case, traditional type of wealth.

00:43

And then the west is a kind of newer

00:47

- self-made wealth. - Got it.

00:49

So we have the Buchanans and the Carraways.

00:52

They are centrist representatives

00:55

of their domains in the east and west.

00:58

Can you compare and contrast the Buchanans and the Carraways?

01:03

So, yeah, the Buchanans, Daisy and Tom,

01:06

live on East Egg. They are

01:08

old money.

01:09

They have ponies,

01:11

for example.

01:12

[ neigh ] [ aww ]

01:14

And they have a very classy

01:16

kind of way of living.

01:18

And that's -- The way that Nick describes it,

01:20

you kind of see that it is this more classy, more traditional type of wealth.

01:23

We think of people with ponies like...

01:26

When you make your first million, you don't go buy ponies.

01:28

That's something that your mom and dad gave you if you inherited the wealth.

01:32

And then on the West Egg,

01:34

Nick describes his house as an eyesore.

01:38

And it's not.

01:39

He lives -- The West Egg is really nice.

01:41

It's just new wealth.

01:42

But he kind of is comparing it

01:44

to the classy East Egg.

01:46

And it's a little bit more gaudy, a little bit more tacky,

01:48

the way that we would think of it now.

01:50

And that's also where Gatsby lives -

01:52

on West Egg, which is how we can kind of already start to see that there is

01:56

something going on beneath the surface of Gatsby's greatness.

02:01

So you mentioned the term "new wealth,"

02:04

which is a really interesting concept.

02:07

What's the difference between new money and old money?

02:11

As the American Dream really became

02:15

a thing -- And in the early 1900s,

02:19

that's when the American Dream really took off

02:21

as this concept.

02:23

It started to change and new money

02:26

did become a little bit more respected as time passed.

02:30

And now, like you said, we've gotten to the point where

02:31

in some places, that's all that's respected.

02:33

And people will look down on

02:35

old money. Although, if you go to the east coast

02:38

and find some of these old money families,

02:41

still today they look down on the new wealth of the west coast.

02:44

So it's kind of that

02:46

difference still exists.

02:48

But the American Dream hadn't quite been realized yet

02:53

at that point, and so

02:55

the idea of a self-made man

02:57

- wasn't as respected at that point. - Got it. Makes sense.

03:01

[ whoop ]

03:02

What's the difference between East Egg and West Egg?

03:06

Can you compare and contrast the Buchanans and the Carraways?

03:11

What's the difference between new money and old money?

03:18

[ yee-haw! ]