The terms East Egg and West Egg come from the English novel “The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in the year 1925. Both these terms were used to talk about the different places where the rich lived, and also how they acquired their wealth.
East Egg vs West Egg
The difference between East Egg and West Egg is that East Egg is a place of residence for the people who inherited their wealth, while West Egg is a place where people who worked for their wealth lived.
East Egg was used to refer to the places where those with inherited or “Old” money live. These individuals had acquired their wealth over a long time, such as through their own family and did not have to work for it.
West Egg was used to refer to the places where the rich but hard-working resided. These individuals were able to work their way through life and acquire a substantial amount of wealth over time.
Comparison Table Between East Egg and West Egg (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of comparison||East Egg||West Egg|
|Definition||Place of residence for the individuals who had money from the very beginning, and did not have to work for it.||Place of residence for the individuals who recently came into wealth by working and earning it by themselves.|
|Method of acquiring wealth||People of the East Egg were born into wealth, inheriting centuries-old riches from their family, often referred to as “Old money.”||People of the West Egg found different ways to acquire their wealth, legal or illegal, and worked their way up.|
|Characteristics of people||The people of East Egg were considered to be careless, selfish, unempathetic, “spoiled”, and unappreciative of the wealth they had.||The people of West Egg knew the value of money, were respected more, were much more competent and compassionate.|
|Flaws||The major flaw of many in the East Egg was that they were unable to exhibit appreciation and compassion.||A few in the West Egg acquired their wealth through illegal means and held tremendous power over the lower classes.|
|Symbolism||The people of the East Egg symbolized the inner flaws of present-day monarchs or a rich and spoiled generation.||Here, the principles of the hard-working generation are showcased, as well as true values are displayed.|
What is East Egg?
The East Egg, a term found in the novel “The Great Gatsby”, is used to describe a place where the wealthy resided.
The people of the East Egg had acquired their wealth through inheritance, or one could say that they were born into centuries-old wealth that had been passed down through each generation.
The people here never had to work for their money and didn’t have to earn it the hard way like the people of the West Egg; and hence, the people who lived here were unappreciative of the money they had.
The flaws of not having to work a day in their lives included being careless with their wealth, expenditure on unneeded purchases, being unable to understand the basic principles of hard work and sweat, and hence were considered to be spoiled.
In terms of personality and characteristics, the people here were generally unempathetic, possed no compassion, unable to feel sympathy for those in the lower classes.
They were materialistic; caring immensely about their prized possessions, and this, in turn, made them greedy and hungry for more.
In terms of a symbolic viewpoint, the people who lived in East Egg were considered to be the spoiled generations of a monarch or those who inherited their wealth and have never adhered to the hard-working principles of life.
What is West Egg?
In the novel “The Great Gatsby”, the West Egg was a place of residence for the people who had recently come into wealth through means of hard work and dedication.
The individuals here went from rags to riches and had not inherited any of their wealth from anyone else.
Of course, among these newly wealthy, there were a few who had earned their riches through illegal means, but they still were granted the respect and status as the others in their West Egg society.
Personality-wise, we observe that the people who lived in West Egg were more appreciative and competent about their wealth and how they earned it. The people here are much more compassionate and understanding of the new trends of the world.
A flaw seen here regarding the West Egg people is that they do not conform to the old traditions, and wish to introduce change in everything they touch.
And through a symbolic viewpoint, a thing to notice is that the people of West Egg represent the hard-working generation that demonstrated the essence of social values.
Main Differences Between East Egg and West Egg
- East Egg is a place of residence for non-working individuals who had money from the very beginning, while West Egg is a place where the newly rich lived.
- People of East Egg acquired their wealth through the means of inheritance, while people of West Egg earned their wealth through working jobs.
- A significant flaw of the people of East Egg is their lack of compassion, while a flaw of people of West Egg people is that they are unable to conform to tradition, and wish always to incorporate change.
- Personality-wise, the people of East Egg are much more careless and unempathetic, while those of West Egg are much more compassionate and respectful.
- People of East Egg symbolized close-mindedness, while those of West Egg symbolized hard-working principles and change.
The East Egg and the West Egg are fictional places found in the novel “The Great Gatsby” and describe the two separate groups within the upper class. The people of East Egg are the ones who inherited all their wealth (referred to as “Old” money) from their families, while those of West Egg have recently come into wealth by earning on their own and working hard.
The people of East Egg were found to be unappreciative and careless, while those of West Egg understood the value of money and showed more respect. Both these groups help symbolize the differences within the upper class and wealthy that we see in today’s world.