Essay on Jazz Music in the Great Gatsby

981 Words Jan 19th, 2013 4 Pages
Jazz Music in The Great Gatsby In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, the reader sees a common theme of corruption of the American Dream. In the 1920’s, the times are changing in America and morals are becoming looser and the lifestyle of the wealthy is more careless. New fashion, attitude, and music is what nicknamed this era the “Jazz Age,” greatly influencing Fitzgerald’s writing. He created similarities between many things in pop culture and the journey his characters Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Myrtle are taking to achieve the American dream. Through the use of the lively, yet scandalous, jazz music from the 1920’s, Fitzgerald reflects the attitudes of the characters in The Great Gatsby at the end of innocence and prevalence of …show more content…
At one of his parties, he plays a song that Fitzgerald made up entitled “Jazz History of the World.” When it was finished playing, the music had such an effect on people, the men and women were falling back on each other for affection. When it came to Gatsby though, Fitzgerald wrote, “No one swooned backward on Gatsby, and no French bob touched Gatsby’s shoulder, and no singing quartets were formed with Gatsby’s head for one link.” (Fitzgerald 50). Even though Gatsby was surrounded by people in his own home, nobody was concerned enough with him to become close to him. Gatsby may have all the material items he needed, but he was still incredibly lonely and just needed the affection of Daisy. The rise of upbeat tempo of jazz music was a big change from the subtle classical music that use to be popular and the lives of the wealthy also greatly changed in the 1920s. The rise of the music reflected the American Dream of achieving financial success and happiness but the corrupt associations with drinking, dancing, and other questionable behavior shows how questionable the intentions of the character’s American Dreams are. It may seem like it is all just a good time to the wealthy because of their disregard to other people’s lives, but the Fitzgerald proves the American Dream can end innocence and shows it with jazz music.

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