The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is too concerned with conveying a picture of 1920s American society to have relevance to modern readers.
From what you have read of the novel so far and using relevant contextual information, give your response to the above view.
The USA in the 1920s is remembered as the ‘Roaring Twenties’, an age of new life, of hedonism and opportunity following the horrors the Great War. The decade is synonymous with wealth, materialism and unprecedented freedom. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby provides an insight into the exciting and prosperous lives of the American people as they embark on the limitless potential of the American Dream and therefore it conveys a picture of 1920s American society. With
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Similarly, the materialistic nature of the Christian festival of Christmas in the 21st Century has replaced most, if not all, of its religious meaning. Furthermore, consumerism is just as common in today’s society as it was in the Roaring Twenties, thus Fitzgerald’s picture of 1920s American society is relevant to modern capitalist readers. Social change in 1920s America was fundamental to the era earning the name the ‘Roaring Twenties’. It quickly became the societal norm to enjoy lavish parties, excessive alcohol despite the prohibition laws and dancing to new rhythmic jazz music. The social change was most evident in the roles of women. Before the First World War, women were restricted to being homemakers. Few, if any, women were employed and they never attended parties without a chaperone. During the war, however, women had enjoyed new freedom as they worked in factories while their husbands and fathers were at war. This sort of work in heavy industry encouraged freer behavior and women began smoking and drinking in public and going out unchaperoned. Fitzgerald’s depiction of Jordan Baker and Daisy Buchanan reflects the new woman of the 1920s. Indeed, even Jordan Baker’s name is unisex, reflecting the changing roles of women as they defy society’s expectations and enjoy more masculine pursuits. This new found freedom slipped into decadence, allowing parties such as Gatsby’s to be much less reserved as Nick observes women falling back upon men

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