The Troublesome Twenties In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Good Essays
The Troublesome Twenties The excitement of the beginning of the 1920s was like the roar of an engine in a brand new car. Each person had their own car, that started off strong, lively, and even intimidating to some. Their goal was to reach the finish line: prosperity. Despite the exciting start of the race, when women gained rights, technology developed, and the stock market thrived, most of the cars would fall behind, hit a bump in the road, and lose their momentum. Overall, it seemed like a time of prosperity. However, that is not entirely true, as shown through literary works from the time period such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and pieces from the Harlem Renaissance. Although critics may argue that the 1920’s was a time of …show more content…
It is true that women gained several more rights in the 1920’s that they had not previously had, but they were still unable to achieve the American Dream because of societal pressure. Despite the fact that she truly loved Gatsby, Daisy married Tom. Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby because, “She wanted her life shaped now, immediately— and the decision must be made by some force” (Fitzgerald 151). The “force” is society, that still expected women to be merely housewives that were inferior to their husbands. Also, social and economic status was very important to women and their families. Since Tom was rich and socially elite, and Gatsby was neither, Daisy choses Tom because she was expected to marry someone of his status and would never have to worry about money. Daisy and Gatsby’s dreams were to be with each other, and they both fail to achieve it. After Myrtle’s death, it was dangerous for Gatsby to stay in town, because he would be risking his life. However, Gatsby refused to leave Daisy, and Wilson shot him. Gatsby died before he could achieve the American Dream, because he was too wrapped up in the illusion he had that made him think that he was close to accomplishing it. Even African Americans, during the Harlem Renaissance, faced this problem. Langston Hughes wrote, “There are words like Liberty / That almost make me cry / If you had known what I knew / You would …show more content…
According to Henry Rhodes of the New Haven Teachers Institute, “The moral code in Harlem wasn’t too restrictive; sex and alcohol were readily available. The exciting night life appealed to bored affluent whites” (Rhodes). The lack of morals was becoming more and more popular, and simple values that were once common sense began to fade away. People of high status who were bored with their lives did immoral things to make their dull realities more interesting. This loss of morality is highly apparent in The Great Gatsby. For instance, when the truth is revealed about Daisy’s love for Gatsby, Tom denies it. He confesses that though he truly loves Daisy, “‘Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself’” (Fitzgerald 131). It seems logical for a husband not to cheat on his wife, but at this time, it was the norm. Even Daisy had an affair with Gatsby while she was married to Tom, which was confirmed when Gatsby tells Nick that she had been coming to his house a lot more often. Since they were both cheating on each other, their relationship was very tense. They were not happy with each other, which created struggle for both of them. These dishonest actions show how much the moral standards dropped during the 1920’s and led to difficulty for many

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Both Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby refused to accept defeat when fighting for Daisy. Tom married Daisy after Gatsby left for the war. Even though Tom cheated on Daisy, he stood up to Gatsby when they were in the city. Gatsby says, “Your wife doesn’t love you”(130). This makes Tom…

    • 1233 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Daisy wanted Gatsby before the war but during the war she needed someone to be with so her family wanted her to marry someone wealthy and she chose Tom. If she didn 't her family would have hated her for that. but she also goes on to tell everyone in the hotel room of a New York hotel that she, "Even alone I can 't say I never loved Tom" (Fitzgerald 133). Daisy may have said that she loved Tom but she didn 't marry him for the only love. She was more comfortable with Tom because he could give her whatever she wanted even though their marriage was not the best with him.…

    • 816 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom Buchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his position, and Daisy was flattered.” This was an unethical decision because Tom was not a pleasant man: he was rude to her, he cheated on her multiple times, and he was not even there when their child was born. Even though Daisy loved Gatsby still, she decided to marry Tom due to his wealth and name. Daisy was often mad at Tom according to Jordan Baker, “I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back, and I thought I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she’d look around uneasily, and say: ‘Where’s Tom gone?’” Daisy knew he was cheating but out of her greedy perspective, she stayed with him.…

    • 1403 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The child is part of the reason why Tom is not worried about Daisy leaving him for love. In a similar manner, Myrtle exclaims that “[she] married [Wilson] because he was a gentleman… but he wasn’t fit to lick [her] shoe” (Fitzgerald 34). Myrtle’s disdain for Wilson sprouts from one of Wilson’s actions. At the wedding ceremony of Myrtle and Wilson, Wilson borrows a suit from someone and does not tell Myrtle. When Myrtle finds out this information, she is furious because her already less than perfect name is tainted even more.…

    • 1492 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gatsby is trying to repeat the past with Daisy and the past can never really be relived. The reason why Tom lets Gatsby and Daisy drive back to the house together because he is just showing his superiority towards Gatsby and in a way telling him that he has Daisy for good and that will never change. Daisy’s relationship with Tom was also very strung out. Tom wanted daisy for show and to be able to tell everybody that this beautiful woman was his wife but also was unfaithful to her. By having a child with Tom Daisy felt that she could not leave Tom for Gatsby.…

    • 2305 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the novel The Great Gatsby, Money may be the American Dream for most people but Gatsby 's American Dream was more than that; it was his love for Daisy. Love has many means to it. Love could be an intense feeling of passionate affection towards another. Gatsby has spent most of his thinking about how close he will be to Daisy and he is one step closer to his dream whenever he is close to her. In all honestly, Gatsby is part of the corruption in The Great Gatsby because he proves to be unfaithful with Daisy and in turn betrays Tom.…

    • 1650 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The undying love that the two had one before faded away like it had earlier in their relationship. The betrayal was from all sides with the husbands cheating on their wives, wives cheating on their husbands, lies were being told and even lies about finances. The statement made that…

    • 453 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gatsby is uneasy that Daisy still loves Tom even though he mistreats her. Tom thought he was untouchable, and therefore he could do whatever he wanted. He realized that Daisy was capable of leaving him. Given the extremely negative light in which Tom is portrayed, Daisy still chooses to stay married to him instead of leaving him for Gatsby. Gatsby believed that all he had to do was become wealthy, and Daisy would wait for him.…

    • 589 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Another example of this is at the end of the book when Nick is talking about Gatsby 's dreams and how people generally aim to high with their dreams that they are unable to successfully fulfill it. Nick explains “His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.” (Fitzgerald 180). Gatsby had this goal to be with Daisy and he thought that he could be with her and in the end he did not end up getting her because of his tragic death. Gatsby was murders because of Tom Buchanan telling George Wilson that Gatsby had killed his wife to make Tom look like the good guy to Wilson. The…

    • 1332 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They both sat in the couch staring at each other without a word (Fitzgerald 89). This demonstrates how Gatsby is willing to still settle down for Daisy but she’s still indecisive about settling down with him. Gatsby exceeds too much from Daisy as she said, he wants her to confess to Tom that she never loved him. In-reality though she tells Gatsby that she once loved him but she also loved Tom. We have Gatsby who swears that Daisy only loves him but didn’t stay with him because he used to be poor, but then we see that Daisy did love Tom at some point humiliating Gatsby.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays