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The great gatsbys decadence of society during the roaring twenties

The developments in industrialization caused decay in moral values. Thus, the society was torn apart due to the clash between old and new values.

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald [2] reflects the American society during this period and clearly portrays the contrast between traditional and corrupted values by manifesting the distinct character traits, attitudes and habits of the characters; their individual patterns of typical lives and thoughts about the others.

This underworld infiltrated the upper echelons and created such a moral decay within general society that paved the way for the ruining of dreams and dashing of hopes as they were placed confidently in the chance for opportunities that could be seized by one and all.

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By looking at each character and their situation and ambition, it can be seen that the American Dream was not limited to one social class or type of person, that it was nation wide and was found within everyone. Three represent traditional reasons why immigrants have been drawn to America: In order to achieve these benefits, however, there were prices to be paid: In time, these prices themselves became a part of the traditional value system.

The characteristics of these values are portrayed by some characters, events and settings throughout the book. For example, Nick, the narrator of the book who lives according to these values says that he is slow thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on his desires. Then he observes the people around him and adds that he is one of the few honest people that he has ever known.

Secondly, the old life style includes close and warm friendships that depend on respect and love. Gatsby trusts Nick and shares his secrets with him. They establish a genuine friendship. This emphasizes the importance and scarcity of sincere relationships. Furthermore, the old life style is characterized by a certain modesty in which wealth and public show of it are not the only sources of validation.

This way of life is illustrated by the settings of the book. The great gatsbys decadence of society during the roaring twenties instance, West Egg, where Nick and Gatsby live, corresponds to the traditional life style. Nick describes this place and writes: I lived at West Egg, the-well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them.

Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. From the position as narrator we have access to the thoughts and feelings of Nick Carraway more than any other characters; but this same position also reduces the effectiveness of the reader as a judge of character because he is presented in a biased way compared to others.

The Great Gatsby: Party like it’s the Roaring Twenties

With that said, it can be seen that Nick suffers greatly from his experiences in New York. His regard for human decency is ruined and he leaves with his hopes dashed and a disgust at how the materialism that runs rampant throughout his social class is capable of ruining lives and dreams. Because of the actions of his cousin Daisy, her husband Tom and the beliefs held by his love interest in the novel Jordan, Nick is finally privy to how the dreams and values held by all these people overrun their sense of sensible behavior and how the general society caused their personalities to be affected this way.

The transformation between James Gatz and Jay Gatsby is an example of how people can transform themselves according to their ambition for wealth and prosperity. To Gatsby, his dream was symbolized by Daisy; Gatsby even says that her voice sounds like money, a direct correlation between Daisy and the wealth and happiness that Gatsby would supposedly enjoy if only he could have married Daisy but could still enjoy if he had married her five years later.

This is because he held an unrealistic view of life and how he could recreate the past. His dreams had distorted reality to the point where when his rationality realized that the image of life and of Daisy did not coincide with the real life version his mind did not grasp that perhaps the dream the great gatsbys decadence of society during the roaring twenties receded to the point of no return, consequently his dreams helped to result in the devastating end that was the finish of The Great Gatsby.

To do this her marriage choices were limited to men with money, preferably with old inherited money, the type that prestige accompanies.

  • This emphasizes the importance and scarcity of sincere relationships;
  • Concepts such as hypocrisy, fakeness of character, and lavish use of wealth in The Great Gatsby come from the ideals of the Roaring Twenties.

The reader can see that Daisy is a superficial character who considers happiness more of a physical state than a mental state by the scene when she is talking about her daughter and what she said when she was born: The results of her dream and the methods she used to accomplish her dream led to the unhappiness of her marriage, when she again tried to capture happiness whilst still keeping her dream in front of her it ended in the tragedy that The Great Gatsby depicted.

If Daisy had indeed been concerned with happiness, as was implied throughout the novel, then she would not have been as concerned with money as she obviously was β€” she would have waited for Gatsby to come back from the war and not have married Tom; a decision based on her thoughts of what her life should have been life and a decision that cost her happiness. The moral decadence and carelessness of the American dream is also illustrates accurately in Daisy in the situation of the killing of Myrtle and her abandonment of Gatsby just before and after his death.

The fact that she ran over Myrtle without stopping and did not have the bravery to tell Tom shows how Daisy was always thinking of herself and of her the great gatsbys decadence of society during the roaring twenties comfort rather than the safety, wellbeing and feelings of others. His dream also concentrates of power, gained through the prestige that is associated with old money. His self-confidence and utter belief in his superiority are an example of how he thinks about himself in relation to all other people, especially ones of a lower social class.

Supposedly she married George because she thought he was a gentleman, something that the social elite traditionally value; though only if he is also rich enough to belong there in the first place. This ruination indeed happened because of the man she fell in love with, Tom, and what he stood for β€” money, power and materialism.

George, as a complete opposite to myrtle, turned to a more introvert person as a consequence of his style of living in the garage. Towards the end of the novel the reader may question his state of mind because of some of his actions toward myrtle, especially his opinion towards the eyes of the T. Eckleberg advertisement, whilst it is obvious to the reader that they do indeed represent God or at least the fact that the moral decay is being subtly observed it could not be obvious to the characters of the book except George.

This could be because they were indeed far too busy gallivanting around New York with their lack of morals and the behavior that was the The Great Gatsby.

Despite the fact that George did not belong to a church he became religious towards the end of the novel, perhaps as a reaction to the behavior of his wife and the depression that would have been associated with both that and the failings of his business.

His dreams are not well documented in the novel, apart from the obvious dream of money and making a profit of his business, this obvious dream was in fact ruined because of the fact that not everyone could get rich the basis of the American dream and the immoral behavior of his wife and the rest of the characters.

Cliff Notes/The Decadence of the 1920"s as Portrayed by The Great Gatsby cliff notes 2789

Conclusion Fitzgerald shows that in the social classes that were represented in The Great Gatsby there is a running theme of how the American dream affects all of the characters, they each have their own aspirations for their own life but more often than not they revolve around money and the effects that wealth has on their style of life. On the other hand, after World War I as people got away from the traditional life style, their moral considerations were suspended.

These changes are illustrated by the personalities, behavior and life styles of several characters in the book.

Firstly, these characters are concerned chiefly and only with themselves. Throughout the book, they act vulgarly and cruelly. This criticism points out the fact that selfishness is one of the major traits present in the society. Secondly, although people meet frequently in social events, they lack sincere intimacy.

The corruption of society is clearly indicated by this secession among people. In addition, suspension of devotion to family comes along with corruption of values.

For example, Jay Gatsby was in fact called James Gatz.

  • Inc 1963 page 69;
  • Electronics like radios became more common, particularly in metropolitan households;
  • Firstly, these characters are concerned chiefly and only with themselves;
  • She has become a gesture divorced forever from the tiresomeness of human rality [sic]" Lockridge 45;
  • Cullen The American dream:

Furthermore, materialism replaces the vanishing values and money promotes to be the only aspiration of the people. This rich decoration shows how important appearance and money are. The fact that decorations of this house are considered significant and worked on elaborately despite the problematic relationships is a proof of the corruption in the society.

The Great Gatsby, Prohibition, and Fitzgerald

They disregard moral values and are carried away by a stream of materialism. There is a huge gap between these two groups. This secession ruins the unity, peace and prosperity in the society. The decade is also seen as a period of rising intolerance and isolation: Overall, the decade is often seen as a period of great contradiction: Put differently, historians usually see the 1920s as a decade of serious cultural conflict.

His prename, Francis Scott Key, was given to him to honor his distant ancestor who wrote the National Anthem. Although he lead one of the most wild and luxurious lifestyles of anyone during the decade, Fitzgerald was known more for his prominent works of literature, which have gained a permanent place among the American classics.

Cullen The American dream: An Introduction to American Culture. A Collection of Critical Essays. Inc 1963 page 69. Page 64 [8] Ibid.