The Great Gatsby Influences

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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, an American novelist whose writing defined the 1920s (Jazz Age), reflected this era with insight, detailed realism, and a unique American voice in his writings. He encompasses his own personal experiences into his works, while exploring the prosperous and hopeless aspects of a nation. Fitzgerald used his writing to not only critique the ideals of a new age, but reflect these changing times. The Jazz Age(in conjunction with the Roaring 20s) was a period of unique artistic, social, and cultural diversity. The economic prosperity of this decade brought forth an edgy mass culture, turning Americans into a "consumer society". Consumers during this time spent their money indulging in new forms of entertainment, ready-to-wear …show more content…
This break from tradition is chronicled in the lives of Fitzgerald's protagonists Amory Blaine, Anthony and Gloria Patch, and most notably by Jay Gatsby's next door neighbor, Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald manages to incorporate numerous hallmarks of this decade into his novels. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby owns many newly invented cars, which were then seen as a sign of wealth and status. Jazz music began to thrive as the, what was then considered, high-tech, radio played in the background of elusive speakeasies. The author also featured the "flapper" in many of his works, which emphasized the evolving role and rights of women.

Fitzgerald's first three novels, partake in this revelry, they are almost prophetic, giving readers a sense that each story was about to unravel. This time period was a hit-and-run culture for Fitzgerald (Helse.), one in which "careless people . . . smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together" (Fitzgerald,
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Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald living in the 20s, experienced first-hand how society progressed. This assisted in his understanding and realistic depictions of 1920s culture. His upbringing affected his beliefs and values, causing his works to be modeled after his own life. Incorporating his life experiences into his literary works enabled Fitzgerald to analyze the complexities of this age and examine his own concerns.

Fitzgerald always felt a sense of being a "poor boy in a rich man's party." He lived in a world where he was too poor for the rich, and too fortunate for the poor. His upbringing caused him to remain status-conscious throughout his life. Fitzgerald once said "I am half black Irish and half old American stock. … The black Irish half of the family had the money and looked down upon the Maryland side.… So being born in that atmosphere of crack, wise crack and counter crack I developed a two cylinder inferiority complex.” (Verde.) These feelings of animosity and admiration would resonate with him forever, becoming his inspiration and purpose for writing. Although Fitzgerald seemed to push away his eccentric mother in adolescence, Verde upholds the claim that Fitzgerald admired his father; identifying with the distinction and manners of a Southern gentleman. This internal conflict within Fitzgerald would later become

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