The Troublesome Twenties In The Great Gatsby

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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 know why” (Hughes 5-8). Just like women, African Americans were seen as inferior, and did not have many opportunities to reach their goals or be successful. For reasons such as these, race or gender, it was very difficult for people to achieve the American Dream during the

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