Theme Of Modernism In The Great Gatsby

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Modernist writing is heavily influenced by the process of industrialization and the implications it had on the traditional lives of Americans. Modernism is therefore, a rejection of tradition and a hostile attitude towards the past. The combination of the 19th amendment and new attitudes towards the expressive arts, the modernists used personal narrations and abstract characters to express their own ideological views and personal struggles. Moreover, the characteristics of modernist narratives are littered throughout with an emphasis on symbolisms, the distorted perception of time, a subjective narrator and paralleled connections between how the narrative is read and the connections drawn to the socio-economic climate of the period. Further, …show more content…
The scientific advances and consumer cultures being developed in the 1920’s shows a staunch detachment from the traditions of American life, including the significance of religion. Fitzgerald uses the billboard of Dr. T.J Eckleberg in the Valley of Ashes as a reference to God and America’s severed connection with religion. This is significant in the narrative as the billboards undesirable location is in the middle of West and East Egg. This is where the marital issues of Tom, Daisy, Myrtle and Mr. Wilson take hold. Myrtle is Tom’s mistress and Mr. Wilson’s wife, Mr. Wilson being a religious fanatic who repetitively quotes the billboard, “God knows everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you cant fool God!” This could be Fitzgerald’s own interpretation of the changing morals during the roaring twenties, his rejection of the new era of flappers and flamboyance is made inferable in the instance. Further inference of modernism can be identified by the sudden mystification of Gatsby. Nick becomes fond of Gatsby after his death, but had stood for everything he didn’t throughout the story, which indicates Gatsby’s role in the pursuit of Daisy and the American dream. What matters to Gatsby matters to us: successfulness both economically and socially. Nick stated that he hadn’t approved of anything Gatsby did, yet he also mentioned that, “He turned out alright in the end” at the end of the novel, perhaps this is a metaphor for Fitzgerald’s views on early American exceptionalism and its hollow success. For a large period of the novel, we too are on Gatsby’s side despite his repressed criminality; the planned adultery, the bootlegging and the alleged fixing of the 1919 world series. Yet above all this, we root for Gatsby to rekindle his love with Daisy,

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