OF THE 's, 's, and the 's another "content over style" web page from Steve Johnson Cyberheritage or "how to " with cherries and custard! Or all about constipation and hot flushes! Where girls used to be merely romantic, she's romantic. These sexual revisionists proclaimed a modernist liberation from a repressive Victorian past, and subsequent historiography has tended to accept that frame of reference.
It is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for the remarkable way its author captures a cross-section of American society. The initial success of the book was limited, although in the more than 75 years since it has come to be regarded as a classic piece of American short fiction.
Inhowever, the novel served as a snapshot of the frenzied post-war society known as the Jazz Age, while today it provides readers with, among other things, a portal through which to observe life in the s.
To understand Fitzgerald's genius more fully, one must be aware of the politics that underlie the story. To remove the story from its full historical context is to do it a grave injustice.
The novel, published inexplores life in the early- to mids. Politically speaking, this was a time of growth and prosperity, as well as a time of corruption. World War I, the first war of its kind anyone had ever known, had ended in Harding assumed the presidency inone of his goals was to bring the country back to business as usual.
However, this proved to be a difficult task because Harding's administration was plagued by scandal and corruption, as well as opposition mounted by both unions and organized crime. After WWI ended, Harding's administration targeted business as a means of rebuilding the country. What this entailed, however, included undermining striking laborers and largely siding with management in labor dispute issues over such things as minimum wage, unions, child labor, and so on.
In addition to favoring management in labor disputes, Harding and his successor, Calvin Coolidge, enacted tax legislation that benefited the wealthy more so than any other group. In addition, because of administrative policy decisions, industries such as agriculture, textiles, and certain types of mining suffered greatly, and as a result, cities grew as people moved to urban areas to make a living.
Economically, the s boasted great financial gain, at least for those of the upper class. Between anddividends from stock rose by percent, corporate profits increased by 76 percent, and personal wages grew by 33 percent.
Nick Carraway's journey to the East to make his fortune in the bond business is not entirely unfounded. Largely because of improvements in technology, productivity increased while overall production costs decreased, and the economy grew.
All this would come to a grinding halt, however, with the stock market crash ofsending the U. Fitzgerald, of course, couldn't have forecasted the crash, but in The Great Gatsby, he does suggest, on one level, that society was living in excess and without curbing its appetite somewhat, ruin was just around the corner.
The commercial growth of the s resulted in rampant materialism, such as that chronicled in The Great Gatsby. As people began to have more money, they began to buy more. In turn, as people began to buy more, profits grew, more goods were manufactured, and people earned more money, thereby enabling the economic growth cycle.
People began to spend their money on consumer goods — cars, radios, telephones, and refrigerators — at a rate never before seen. People also began to spend time and money on recreation and leisure. Professional sports began to grow in popularity, and movies and tabloid newspapers gained a foothold on America, helping everyone to share, in one way or another, in the growing materialism that categorized the Jazz Age.
In addition to economics, Fitzgerald takes other national issues into consideration in The Great Gatsby. For example, in Chapter 1, Tom has an intense dislike for outsiders. Later, other characters, including Nick, refer negatively to immigrants who live in the community of West Egg.
Although to modern readers the comments and allusions may seem to lack motivation, such is not the case. Immigration to America was at its peak in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although immigration waned during the war years, by June ofimmigration had returned again to pre-war levelspeople between June of and June of and organized labor began lobbying against immigrants, whom they believed were taking away jobs from American citizens.
Business leaders and various special interest groups also began to worry about the influx of immigrants, citing anti-American political fanaticism as a likely problem. In response, Congress passed a series of restriction bills and laws, setting quotas that limited the number of immigrants allowed in a particular yearin and ;after July 1, The quota was entirely discriminatory, particularly to people from southern and eastern Europe and from Asia.
Although readers may not like what Fitzgerald's characters imply, there is certainly a historical basis behind it. Enacted in and ultimately repealed inthis amendment made it illegal for anyone to manufacture, sell, or transport liquor of any sort.
Millions of Americans hailed this amendment as a moral advance, curbing America's growing penchant for immorality and all the vices that went in their eyes hand in hand with drunkenness.
Despite the millions who supported prohibition, millions also broke the law and drank the outlawed liquor. Not surprisingly, when the illegal liquor business became lucrative, organized crime stepped in to meet the demand.
Manufacturing and distributing alcohol were big businesses during the years of prohibition and helped make the fortunes of the nouveaux riches newly rich found within Fitzgerald's novel, including Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby himself. An understanding of prohibition also helps explain why Fitzgerald puts such an emphasis on drinking within the novel.
Although political issues underlie The Great Gatsby, so, too, do social issues. In many ways, Fitzgerald's Jazz Age characters are a fairly honest representation of what could be found in the social circles of the country's younger generation.There is no question that F.
Scott Fitzgerald captured the Roaring 20s, a period of tremendous social and political change, in his novel The Great Gatsby.. The Volstead Act enacted by the federal. F. Scott Fitzgerald Coined the term "Jazz Age" to describe the movements of the s, he was a novelist and chronicler of the negative side of the 20s wealth accumulation among the wealthier classes in American society.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published in , at the height of the prohibition era. This was also the time period during which the story is set. This was also the time period. The Great Gatsby is a perfect example of this tendency and gives plenty of room for students to make inferences and draw conclusions between Gatsby’s tragic, .
The criminal activity which finds its way into Fitzgerald's work was the same element that was present throughout the 's. The Prohibition of alcohol provided much of the backdrop for urban. In The Great Gatsby, the tragic account of the title character, Jay Gatsby, also reflects the personal experiences of author F.
Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby and Fitzgerald were romantics who embarked on love affairs during military service, made new money early in life and hosted wild parties to .