Examples Of The Jazz Age In The Great Gatsby

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The Jazz Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is arguably Fitzgerald’s greatest work and has been labeled as one of the most influential and iconic pieces of 20th century American literature. The novel is a reflection of Fitzgerald’s life during the 1920s (otherwise known as the Jazz Age; coined by Fitzgerald himself). The Great Gatsby was seen as controversial during the time of its publication due to its use of “language and sexual references in the book.”(Lombardi). However, Fitzgerald’s elegant and earthy portrayal of the social and economic characteristics of the 1920s proved to outweigh the criticism it faced following its publication in 1925.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was
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It portrays the social rebellion of the Roaring 20s with women who are “breaking the molds” of society such as Jordan Baker, who is a professional golfer, Myrtle, who strives to climb the social ladder no matter what the consequences, and Daisy, who struggles to separate herself from the restrictive society she was raised in (Maurer). West Egg and East Egg both symbolize the depiction of the economic characteristics of the 1920s. Following World War I and the rise of the stock market, industries including agriculture, textiles, and some types of mining suffered greatly by policy changes and many American citizens attempted but failed to create a fortune for themselves (Staff). This strive for wealth in the lower classes is depicted with the idea of the “New Money” of West Egg. The wealthy residents who occupy East Egg, otherwise known as “Old Money”, represent the established aristocracy during the 1920s. Following the war, they despised the newly rich industrialists who came from humble backgrounds and scrambled for wealth when the stock market rose (Maurer). The booming stock market paved way for a tremendous growth in consumer spending and huge wealth for investors and this led to a new perspective of morality for young people. They were less influenced by traditional societal expectations and began to value individualism and modernism. Subsequently, this new mindset led to …show more content…
The book was also challenged in the past due to the characteristics of the Jazz Age that Fitzgerald based his book upon. Jay Gatsby made a fortune for himself through bootlegging during the Prohibition Era. He was a criminal. The book features improper language such as damn, hell, and son-of-a-bitch and two extramarital affairs between Tom Buchanan and Myrtle and Jay Gatsby and Daisy. These factors in the novel led to its challenging by the Baptist College in Charleston, South Carolina. During its publication it was still seen as taboo to write about any sort of immoral ideologies and actions much like the ones described in The Great Gatsby. It was seen as a scandalous and repulsive novel during the 1920s and people dismissed it. Literary critic Sarah Churchwell put this idea into a modern

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