In his Jazz Age novel, The Great Gatsby, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald portrayssociety as snobs who bask in the wealth of the age. The novel was written in theheart of the Jazz Age and depicts it flawlessly. After World War I, manycompanies that had been making war supplies returned to creating their uniqueproducts. (ELCO) “The Jazz Age was a time of prosperity, but also a time ofmany downfalls. It was an era of change … a time when people began to do whatthey wanted to do instead of following social norms.
” (ELCO) This causedindustry to “boom”, and the economy accelerated with frighteningspeed. Some people became very wealthy, and in Fitzgerald’s novel, these are thepeople of the “eggs”, especially East Egg. However, some people,although not poor, were certainly what they would have considered middle class,and there was a huge gap between the two classes. (UWAC) One of the main causesof extreme wealth in the Jazz Age was the accessibility of credit.
During thewar people saved every penny. After the war was over, and the economy rushedinto a higher level, everyone started spending extravagantly. Credit wasconvenient, accessible, and widely used. (UWAC) Fitzgerald’s main example ofextreme wealth was Gatsby himself. The reader sees that much of Gatsby’s wealth,like the rest of the worldly community, is spent frivolously. Income disparitywas a characteristic that followed closely with extreme wealth. The differencebetween the classes at this time was significant. As Daisy realizes thedifference between herself and Gatsby, her former lover, she is overwhelmed withgrief. Although she, as well as Nick, was of the middle class, her outpouring ofemotion displays to the reader the differences in the wealth of the two classes.
Gatsby, who believed that he was comfortable, felt uneasiness at the sight ofDaisy’s tears. Despite the fact that many people believe that money can make youhappy, Gatsby realizes that his fortune will not win Daisys hand. He beginsto re-evaluate all of his possessions by the amount of importance that his truelove puts on them. (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1148/index.html)Income disparity as well as extreme wealth was common in the Jazz Age. AfterWorld War I, the economy grew and the people, in general, prospered. PrimarilyGatsby displays extreme wealth. Income disparity is shown through Gatsby’srelationships with Nick and Daisy. (ELCO) Another aspect in which the noveldepicts the Jazz Age is the reference to the American Dream. “Gatsby, like Tomand Daisy, “goes East” to pursue his dream, perhaps the American Dreambut, unlike them, becomes a victim and fails in his vision.” (UWAC) “Hisdream, the novel suggests, is also that of America, with its emphasis on theinherent goodness within nature, on healthy living, youth, vitality, romance, amagnanimous openness to life itself, a dream of the East which has been dreamedup in the West.” (UWAC) Gatsby pursues the green light, the want for naturalpossessions, and eventually is destroyed. Daisy is the one who lures Gatsby intothis drive for material. This can be seen as the possible future for Americaherself, which is depicted, through the actions of Gatsby. Gatsby is the perfectexample of America in the jazz age. America just like Gatsby failed to look attheir westward destiny and focused on the limelight of the east.
BibliographyUWAC (University of Wales Associate College) http://io.newi.ac.uk/rdover/between/gatsby.htmNumerous pages from this site including Art, Literature, Movies, Fashion http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1148/index.htmlELCO (Eastern Lebanon County School) http://www.iu13.k12.pa.us/elco/Academics/Social_Studies/Care/ITTP_2/roaring.html
Cite this Great Gatsby And Jazz Times
Great Gatsby And Jazz Times. (2019, Apr 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/great-gatsby-and-jazz-times/