The Great Gatsby analysis
Fitzgerald, in his novel “The Great Gatsby”, introduces us to the luxurious lives of wealthy east coasters during one of the wildest periods in American history. The novel, to some extent, gives an impression of the social issues and dispositions of the time period. Externally, “The Great Gatsby” may seem to only be a novel about the failed relationship between Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. In any case, the major theme of the novel has significantly less to do with love than with the culture of the 1920’s as a whole. In this novel, the different cultural elements reflected in “The Great Gatsby” which prompted the downfall of the 1920’s American Dream will be discussed, as well as their suggestions for the characters in the novel.
In the early 1920’s, World War I had just come to an end. A modern generation rushed from residential areas to enormous urban communities looking for energy, opportunity, and a “contemporary” way of living. Electronics like radios for example, turned out to be more typical, especially in metropolitan households. Extravagant new car designs rolled down city streets. Women had finally earned the privilege to vote, and their hard-fought equality and freedom was reflected in their fashion– shorter haircuts, higher hemlines, less curvy silhouettes. It was an era of change—and that change was not welcomed by all. Liquor streamed like water in homes across the nation, and drunkards filled America’s prisons and poorhouses. A powerful group of activists made it their main goal to annihilate alcohol with an end goal to enable the nation to come back to less difficult circumstances. The movement, known as Prohibition, may well go down as one of the greatest legislative backfires in American history.
Alcohol dependence was a developing issue in the U.S. for over a century prior to Prohibition coming into law. While Prohibition was intended to kill the desire of consuming alcohol, it had the unconscious impact of transforming many righteous residents into criminals. By banning alcohol from the majority, the government unwittingly made it more alluring, more fashionable, and something anxious consumers needed to get their hands on. Regardless of the truth, generally it appeared as though Americans were enjoying themselves during the Prohibition. No other book grasps this wild and carefree time period as much as Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby.” The character of the wealthy Jay Gatsby speaks to the extremes of 1920’s riches and corruption. Gatsby commits his life to gathering wealth with a specific end goal to draw the attention of his romantic obsession, the stunning yet spoiled Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby’s fortune is obvious in the wild parties he throws from his palace on Long Island’s north shore. These parties that Gatsby threw were free flowing with food and liquor.“At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.” (Page 52 & 53, F. Scott Fitzgerald).
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