A Representation of poverty and hopelessness AKA the valley of ashes
The valley of ashes a place that represents absolute poverty and hopelessness, it is a place where dreams had come and died and is now haunted by a billboard that used to belong to an eye doctor now some believe the eyes belong to god! but the valley as ashes is a terrible place or as the book would state it, “This is a valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight. … The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour.” (Pg. 26) The book puts the valley of ashes into a new category of terrible and the people truly live in ashes! No matter how poor people are they should never live like that.
By: Jonathan Gilsdorf