F. Scott Fitzgerald�s The Great Gatsby - The Up-Roaring Twenties Great Gatsby Essays

The Great Gatsby: The Up-Roaring Twenties


The 1920s in America were a decade of great social change.� From

fashion to politics, forces clashed to produce a very ^Roaring^

decade.� Jazz sounds dominated the music industry.� It was the age of

prohibition, the age of prosperity, and the age of downfall.� It was

the age of everything, and this can be witnessed through the novel by

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.� The Roaring Twenties help

create Gatsby's character.� Gatsby's participation in the bootlegging

business, the extravagant parties he throws, and the wealthy, careless

lifestyle the Buchanans represent are all vivid pictures of that time

frame.� It turns out, although he was used and abused by all the people

whom he thought of as friends, Jay Gatsby ^turned out alright in the

end.^� (Fitzgerald 6)� It almost seems as if he is better off dead,

according to the narrator, because all his so-called ^friends^ either

deserted him or used him for their own personal gain.� There are signs

of this all!� throughout the novel, but it is especially evident in the

final chapters.� In chapter seven, when Myrtle Wilson is killed, Daisy

accepts no responsibility for Myrtle^s death.� She just sits back and

lets Gatsby take all the blame for her actions.� Gatsby is very willing

to do so, because of the love he has for Daisy.� All Gatsby can think

about after the accident is what Daisy went through, it was as if

^Daisy^s reaction was the only thing that mattered.^ (Fitzgerald 151)

Gatsby stands outside of Daisy and Tom^s house for hours, waiting for a

sign from Daisy that things were alright.� ^I want to wait here till

Daisy goes to bed.^ (Fitzgerald 153)� Inside, as she talks with Tom,

Daisy shows no remorse, she just continues with her life as if it never

happened.� In chapter eight, Gatsby recounts for Nick all the memories

he has of Daisy and him together.� ^She was the first ^nice^ girl he

had ever known.^� (Fitzgerald 155)� ^...Daisy, gleaming like silver...^

(Fitzgerald 157) This makes it especially hard for Nick to see Gatsby

still in love with Daisy.� While around Gatsby, Daisy either pretends

to be, or is in love with Gatsby.� This is evidenced when Daisy ^pulled

his (Gatsby^s) face down kissing him in the mouth.^� (Fitzgerald 122)

Then when she is in her kitchen with Tom after Myrtle^s death, ^there

was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy...they were conspiring

together.^� (Fitzgerald 152) In the final chapter, Gatsby^s funeral

takes place; however, no ^friends^ that had frequented his parties,

with the exception of owl-eyes, bother to come to his funeral.� Not

even Tom and Daisy attended.� They ^...had gone away early that

afternoon, and taken baggage with them.^� (Fitzgerald 172)� Nick

desperately ^wanted to get someone for him.^� (Fitzgerald 172)� Nick

went to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim, but Wolfsheim ^can^t get mixed

up in it...my own rule is to let everything alone.^� (Fitzgerald 180)

Klipspringer wasn^t sure if he could make it, because he was supposed

to go out for a picnic with some Greenwich friends.� The only people at

the funeral were Nick, Mr. Gatz (Gatsby^s father,) owl-eyes, the

minister, the postman from West Egg, and four or five servants.

Through all of this, it seems as though Gatsby was better off dead.� He

didn^t realize it, but he was being used by practically everyone around

him.� Daisy and Tom, the partygoers, pretty well everyone but Nick.� It

goes to show that wealth can lead to corruption in the human heart and

soul.� Fitzgerald shows how this affluent society had a hollow core of

pretense and emptiness, and how many of the wealthy were cruel and

heartless.� This decade began with an uproar and ended with an uproar,

and truly earned the name ^The Roaring Twenties.^