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Paper Topic:

The Jazz Age and how the novel (The Great Gatsby) reflects this time period

The Great Gatsby : A Reflection of the Jazz Age

I . Introduction

A great writer himself , F . Scott Fitzgerald believed that a writer should write for the youth of the present , the critics of the next generation , and the schoolmasters of the generations to come . This is a dictum he truly lived by . Indeed , he wrote about the 1920s and depicted the life during the Jazz Age . The Great Gatsby is considered a correct portrayal of the era

The novel was written during the Jazz Age , a time when people did everything

to forget the horrors of World War I and leaned toward hedonism . Industrialization resulted to a decay in moral values Fitzgerald saw through the sparkle of the period and wrote about the moral emptiness of the people . The Great Gatsby comments on the lifestyle of the 1920s and criticizes the moral dis of the period

II . The Jazz Age

Between the end of the World War I and the beginning of the Great Depression is a time called the Jazz Age . It is characterized by economic expansion , city living , lavish spending , modernism and progressive trend of technology , as well as the changing attitude toward moral values

Because people , especially the youth , were traumatized by the war , they rebelled ' against the conventions and attitudes before the war . They wanted to enjoy every bit of the moment . Women became more liberalized and demanded that they be treated as equals . They were allowed to vote They cut their hair short , became open about sexuality , and drank and smoked in public

The Roaring Twenties ' as the 1920s has often been called , was an era of revolutionary changes . The was a rising trend in the U .S . stock market , and automobiles , airplanes , and radios were being produced (Turner 52 . However , the most important contribution to the economy was made by Henry Ford when he perfected the assembly-line method . Owning a car was made affordable to any regular person . This in turn boosted the oil industry and paved the way for the construction of smoother roads From a heavy industry , the United States moved to a consumer products industry (Best 83 . The Americans geared toward individualism and enjoyed the pioneering technologies and ideas (Leuchtenburg 53

As the radios gained popularity , it became a source of entertainment and information to the people (Dumenil 152 . Families wait every day for their favorite programs and listen to news reports . The radio also became a tool of advertisement (Dumenil 167 . However , the influence of the radio can best be exemplified by the popularity of jazz music . It originated from the Black communities in New Orleans and soon became a nationwide phenomenon (Cowley and Cowley 83

A reaction to the recent war , Americans wanted to have as modest a life as possible . Because they now worked fewer hours and have more money they indulged in leisure activities , specifically , drinking . Whenever and wherever they could , Americans drank liquor . The Prohibition , as enacted by the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919 , banned alcohol . However...

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