The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
In 1925 The Great Gatsby was
published , this is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for the notable way
its author captures a cross-section of American society. In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald,
illustrate in his poetic and imagination
way, holds a mirror up to the society that he was a part.
Economically, 1920s was a great economic gain period, mainly for the
upper class people. In 1922 to 1929 time period, dividends from stock increase
by 108%, corporate profits raised by 76%, and personal earnings raised by 33%.
Nick’s journey to East to make his fortune in the bond business is not
completely untested. Mainly because of technology developments, productivity
improved and overall production costs reduced, and economy was increased. The stock market crash happened in 1929. He didn’t predict that, but in the commercial growth of
the 1920s resulted in broad materialism. As people start to have more money,
they started to buy more. So the revenues raised, more goods was peoduced, and
people earned more money. People intrested to spend their money on consumer
goods like cars, radios, telephones, and
refrigerators at a rate never before
seen. And also started to expend time
and money on recreation and leisure. Professional sports started to grow in
The modernization of society speeded
and life in the city was more happy than ever before. Accompanied by the new
jazz music, this new way of life to some that never ending display of immoral
behavior. One of the most radical counter reactions to the changes in society
and the new way of life was the introduction of Prohibition, a law which made
it illegal to production and sell alcohol. however it never really succeeded
with its purpose, Prohibition changed the liquor market mainly. By smuggling
and selling alcohol lots of money were earned , and in some cases fortunes made
by lower social class people. The Prohibition was important for the time and it
plays a vital role in the novel.
Another feature of this novel is
that has historical roots centres on the 18th Amendment to the Constitution:
prohibition sanctioned in 1919. This made it illegal for anyone to production,
sell, or transport liquor of any kind. Millions of Americans welcomed this
amendment as a good advance. Despite the millions who supported prohibition,
millions also broke the law and drank the forbidden liquor. The organized crime
stepped in to meet the demand when the illegal liquor business became
profitable. Production and distributing alcohol were big businesses during the
years of prohibition and helped make the fortunes of the newly rich found
within Fitzgerald’s novel, with Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby.
Many women move in the workforce
when men went to war and don’t want to give up the by-products of their work ,
social and economic freedom , when men came back from the war. In 1920, the
19th Amendment was passed. That gave right to women to vote, made their
independence even more vital. In 1920s, young men and women declined to be
content sustaining the status quo, and so they openly and wholeheartedly
Socially, the 1920s made a major change especially for women. Hair
styles became popular specially women bobbed the hair, that one great
traditional femininity indicator. To complement their more masculine look,
women also started to give up wearing corsets, the restrictive undergarment
planned to emphasize a woman’s hips, waist, and breasts, as if to reinvent
themselves, according to their own rules. Other things women have done that was
before unheard of comprised of smoking and drinking openly, as well as relaxing
formerly firm attitudes toward sex. Myrtle wanted to alter to that present
society. So she determined to do so at all costs. Daisy tried to break away
from the limited society that she raised, but she couldn’t break completely and
so she falls back into the only thing she knows, money. Jordan Baker, too, is
an liberated woman. She passes time as a professional golfer, a profession made
possible largely because of the social and economic progress of the 1920s.
Fitzgerald interacted by earning and
spending money and also in that time a change in how wealth was measured began
to happen. His attention in money something
that Fitzgerald shared with many of the young men that he went to
Princeton with and tried to pursue a career in the business world. Houses,
land, and machinery were always in focus when it came to measure the wealth.
Though, a person’s yearly revenue became more relevant as earning and spending
money was more than ever before a way to grade success, and failure as well.
But Jay Gatsby is a very wealthy man, he is, since he falls short in most of
the features that determines a person’s social status, not an equal to the
likes of Daisy and Tom in the eyes of the old upper class society. Therefore,
Gatsby never stands a chance of succeeding with his attempt to win back Daisy,
who is a part of that society and of a various status.
In Tom Buchanan, Fitzgerald shows that the
upper class man used his old family money to get whichever he likes even women.
As a representative of the whole upper class Tom denotes all the negative
things about a divided society as he was ready to sacrifice people around him
for his own selfish need. Tom’s arrogance can be explained by the fact that he
lived his whole life trusting that he belongs to a superior group of people due
to his privileged heritage.
Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s
characterization of the American Dream, with his journey from a farm boy to a very
wealthy man who lives luxury. Gatsby’s dream is not, though, complete without
Daisy and his dream of winning her is
not possible because of the social status. Gatsby’s heritage doesn’t
make a social status that is similar to Daisy’s, according to the society that
she is a part of, and that is what becomes his downfall. In the end, Fitzgerald
accepts the influence background has on human relationships. Daisy is an
example of this as she selects to commit to her, in her society, high social
status than a life with Gatsby, which will adversely affect her status.
So from this novel, I could
understand economy and society that Fitzgerald obviously shows how the economy
and society changes and the depth of it, as there are more aspects to it than
what we can assume by looking at a particular lifestyle. Through Gatsby,
Fitzgerald shows the enterprising Jazz Ager, someone who has worked hard and
profited from listening and responding to the demands of the society.
Unluckily, despite his success, Gatsby is never able to capture his dreams.
Even though Fitzgerald’s story is a
fiction, is informed by reality, helps to make it one of the most treasured
pieces of early twentieth century American fiction.