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Fitzgerald’s Accuracy in His Portrayal of the Twenties

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 05:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.8 
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F. Scott Fitzgerald was accurate in his portrayal of the aristocratic flamboyancy and indifference of the 1920s. In his novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald explores many aspects of indifference and flamboyancy. A large influence on this society was the pursuit of the American Dream. Gangsters played a heavily influential role in the new money aristocracy of the 1920s. The indifference was mainly due to the advent of Prohibition in 1920. One major societal revolution in this period was that of the “new women,” who expressed new actions and beliefs. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald accurately portrayed his characters   Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and the novel’s eponym, Jay Gatsby, as a part of the society of the 1920s.

Throughout the history of America, the classic struggle has been to attain the current “American Dream.” During the 1920s, this ideal included owning a home, car, and dog, and having a good woman. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan are, on the visible surface, an example of this American Dream (Fitzgerald 10). Tom and Daisy are in love and married, with money, a beautiful home, and a wonderful child. They also own a car, and their home is in a very affluent area. In the 1920s, middle-class Americans owned their own homes and cars, and were making their own money. Also in the 1920s, increased wealth was an aspect of the American Dream. The Bull Market of 1919 signaled the initial increase of wealth per capita (Allen 7). A second bull market in 1927, 1928, and 1929 signaled a second major increase in wealth. Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, works in bonds (Fitzgerald 7). In The Great Gatsby, Nick mentions his own books on banking, credit, and investment, as the key to “shining secrets that only Midas, Morgan, and Maecenas knew” (8). Yet another characteristic of the American Dream was a return to belief in the Nativist philosophy; that all inhabitants of America should be 100% White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP), and most...

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