The Great Gatsby by Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby publishedin 1925, this is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for the remarkable wayits author captures a cross-section of American society. In The Great GatsbyFitzgerald, illustrate in his poetic andimagination way, holds a mirror up to the society o that he was a part. Economically, 1920s wasa great economic gain period, mainly forthe upper class people. Between 1922 and 1929, dividends from stock increase by108%, 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 completelyuntested. Mainly because of developments in technology, productivity improved thoughoverall production costs reduced, and economy was increased.
The stock market crash happened in 1929. He didn’t predict that, but in the commercial growth ofthe 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, andpeople earned more money. People started to spend their money on consumergoods like cars, radios, telephones, andrefrigerators at a rate never beforeseen. And also started to expend timeand money on recreation and leisure. Professional sports started to grow inpopularity.
The modernization ofsociety 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 neverending display of immoral behavior. One of the most radical counter reactionsto 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 reallysucceeded with its purpose, Prohibition changed the liquor market mainly. A lotof money earned by smuggling, sellingalcohol and in some cases fortunes made by lower social class people. TheProhibition was important for the time and it plays a vital role in the novel. Another feature of thisnovel 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 thisamendment as a good advance. Despite the millions who supported prohibition,millions also broke the law and drank the forbidden liquor. The organized crimestepped in to meet the demand when the illegal liquor business becameprofitable.
Production and distributing alcohol were big businesses during theyears of prohibition and helped make the fortunes of the newly rich foundwithin Fitzgerald’s novel, with Meyer Wolfshiem and Gatsby. Many women move in theworkforce when men went to war and don’t want to give up the by-products oftheir work , social and economic freedom , when men came back from the war. In 1920,the 19th Amendment was passed. That gave the women the right to vote, made theirindependence even more vital. In 1920s, young men and women declined to becontent sustaining the status quo, and so they openly and wholeheartedlyrebelled.Socially, the 1920smade a major change especially forwomen.
Women bobbed the hair, that one great indicator of traditionalfemininity. To complement their more masculine look, women also started to giveup wearing corsets, the restrictive undergarment planned to emphasize a woman’ships, waist, and breasts, as if to reinvent themselves, according to their ownrules. Other things women have done that was before unheard of comprised of smokingand drinking openly, as well as relaxing formerly firm attitudes toward sex. Myrtlewanted to alter to that present society.
So she determined to do so at allcosts. Daisy tried to break away from the limited society that she raised, butshe couldn’t break completely and so she falls back into the only thing sheknows, money. Jordan Baker, too, is an liberated woman.
She passes time as aprofessional golfer, a profession made possible largely because of the socialand economic progress of the 1920s.Fitzgerald interactedby earning and spending money and also in that time a change in how wealth wasmeasured began to happen. His attention in money something that Fitzgerald shared with many of the youngmen that he went to Princeton with and tried to pursue a career in the businessworld. Houses, land, and machinery were always in focus when it came to measurethe wealth. Though, a person’s yearly revenue became more relevant as earningand spending money was more than ever before a way to grade success, andfailure as well. But Jay Gatsby is a very wealthy man, he is, since he fallsshort in most of the features that determines a person’s social status, not an equalto 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 winback Daisy, who is a part of that society and of a various status. In Tom Buchanan, Fitzgerald shows that theupper class man used his old family money to get whatever he likes even women.
As a representative of the whole upper class Tom denotes all the negativethings about a divided society as he was ready to sacrifice people around himfor his own selfish need. Tom’s arrogance can be explained by the fact that helived his whole life trusting that he belongs to a superior group of people dueto his privileged heritage. Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s characterizationof the American Dream, with his journey from a farm boy to a very wealthy manwho lives luxury. Gatsby’s dream is not, though, complete without Daisy and hisdream of winning her is not possiblebecause of the social status. Gatsby’s heritage doesn’t make a social statusthat is similar to Daisy’s, according to the society that she is a part of, andthat is what becomes his downfall. At theend, 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, highsocial status than a life with Gatsby, which will adversely affect her status. So from this novel, I couldunderstand economy and society that Fitzgerald obviously shows how the economyand society changes and the depth of it, as there are more aspects to it thanwhat we can assume by looking at a particular lifestyle. Through Gatsby,Fitzgerald shows the enterprising Jazz Ager, someone who has worked hard andprofited from listening and responding to the demands of the society. Unluckily,despite his success, Gatsby is never able to capture his dreams. Even thoughFitzgerald’s story is a fiction, isinformed by reality, helps to make it one of the most treasured pieces of earlytwentieth century American fiction.