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The Impact of the 1920’s on The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the early 1920’s. The story is set in Long Island, New York, around this same time period. It is set not long after World War I and during the time of Prohibition. The story speaks of a time where materialism and wealth were a dominating theme in many people’s lives. The story was written about the younger generation of the time; the 20 to early 30 age range. The work displays their social lives and their quest for what they considered to be the American dream. When Fitzgerald was writing he knew that the world was changing. “America,” he said, “was going on the greatest, gaudiest spending spree in history” (Miller). He was a man of the time writing about society and his descriptions give us an insight on some of the social aspects and life of this period.
The “Roaring 20s,” as it has been called, was an exciting time with a strong economy, jazz music, and fashion trends. Although there were some other negative aspects that were intertwined; such as Prohibition, this was considered an explosive decade. Many new consumer goods were available and this helped fuel the economy and give the 1920’s economic prosperity. New technology helped fuel this development with such inventions like the automobile and radio. It was a shedding of pre-war values and was a stark contrast to the previous Victorian era. Fitzgerald wrote, “The parties were bigger...the pace was faster...the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper” (Parallels with the 1920s and some differences).
Fitzgerald became an overnight sensation with his publication of This Side of Paradise in 1920. He married his wife Zelda soon after and they began to live their lives as celebrities. He was able to contribute his accounts of lavish parties and the materialism that he observed and was a part of to his literary works. They traveled...
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