East Egg vs West Egg: Difference and Comparison

The terms East Egg and West Egg come from the English novel “The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925. Both these terms were used to talk about where the rich lived and how they acquired their wealth.

Key Takeaways

  1. East Egg and West Egg are fictional in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” representing two areas on Long Island, New York, where wealthy characters reside.
  2. East Egg is home to the “old money” elite, who have inherited wealth and a more refined, aristocratic demeanor.
  3. West Egg houses the “new money” residents, who have recently acquired their fortunes and may lack the social standing or sophistication of their East Egg counterparts.
  4. The distinction between East Egg and West Egg serves as a commentary on social class, wealth, and the American Dream in the novel.

East Egg vs West Egg

East egg is a setting in the novel “The Great Gatsby” where the people in wealthy communities with family fortunes and “old money” lived. It was more fashionable. West egg was the place where people with “new money” who had recently become wealthy lived. It was considered less fancy.

East Egg vs West Egg 1

East Egg refers to places where those with inherited or “Old” money live. These individuals acquired their wealth over a long time, such as through their own families 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 could work their way through life and acquire a substantial amount of wealth over time.


Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonEast EggWest Egg
DefinitionPlace 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 wealthPeople of the East Egg were born into wealth, inheriting centuries-old riches from their family, referred to as “Old money.”People of West Egg found different ways to acquire their wealth, legal or illegal, and worked their way up.
Characteristics of peopleThe people of East Egg were considered careless, selfish, unempathetic, “spoiled”, and unappreciative of their wealth.The people of West Egg knew the value of money, were respected more, and were much more competent and compassionate.
FlawsThe major flaw of many in the East Egg was that they could not exhibit appreciation and compassion.A few in West Egg acquired wealth illegally and held tremendous power over the lower classes.
SymbolismThe people of the East Egg symbolized the inner flaws of present-day monarchs or a rich and spoiled generation.Here, the hard-working generation’s principles are showcased, and actual values are displayed.


What is East Egg?

The East Egg, a term found in the novel “The Great Gatsby, ” describes where the wealthy resided.

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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 West Egg; 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 is considered spoiled.

Regarding personality and characteristics, the people here were unempathetic, possessed no compassion, and could not sympathise with those in the lower classes.

They were materialistic, caring immensely about their prized possessions, which 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 become wealthy through hard work and dedication.

The individuals here went from rags to riches and had not inherited their wealth from anyone else.

Of course, among these newly wealthy, a few had earned their riches through illegal means, but they still were granted the respect and status of the others in their West Egg society.

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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 world’s new trends.

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.

west egg

Main Differences Between East Egg and West Egg

  1. East Egg is a residence for non-working individuals who had money from the beginning, while West Egg is where the newly rich lived.
  2. People of East Egg acquired their wealth through the means of inheritance, while people of West Egg earned their wealth through working jobs.
  3. A significant flaw of the people of East Egg is their lack of compassion, while a mark of the West Egg people is that they cannot conform to tradition and always wish to incorporate change.
  4. Personality-wise, the people of East Egg are much more careless and unempathetic, while those of West Egg are much more compassionate and respectful.
  5. People of East Egg symbolized close-mindedness, while those of West Egg symbolized hard-working principles and change.

  1. https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-do-east-egg-west-egg-symbolize-terms-wealth-343078

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “East Egg vs West Egg: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This analysis of East Egg and West Egg is quite enlightening. It provides a richer understanding of the novel’s themes.

  2. I found the symbolism behind East Egg and West Egg particularly interesting. It adds a layer of depth to the novel.

  3. We can draw many parallels from the novel to modern society. It’s intriguing to see how things have and haven’t changed.


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