False Values, Materialism, and Disillusionment in Fitzgerald's Novel
Fitzgerald’s novel the great gatsby reflects the adherence to false values, tendency towards materialism, and eventual disillusionment of America during the Jazz Age. The Jazz Age is well known as a decade of alluring glamour, stunning beauty, thrilling success, and glorious profit; however, there was an underlying coarseness to all this glitter. Amid the charm and magic was a certain raucousness, an indefinable roughness, a definite shallowness, which over time eroded the shimmer and sparkle, revealing what truly lay at the heart of the Jazz Age. In his classic novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald sketches this era and its intricacies. Virtues and Morality in the Jazz Age
Virtues and morality were not held particularly highly during the Jazz Age. False and corrupted values were present at this time and can be found in the novel: “The American public not only embraced customs that fell outside the arm of the law, but it also admired figures who lived without restraint. One such character is Gatsby, who flaunts the law with his business dealings and socializes with seemingly endless funds. Gatsby is tied to possibly shady dealings throughout the course of the novel. He repeatedly takes mysterious phone calls and steps aside for private, undisclosed conversations” (Fitzgerald, “The Great” 151). It is apparent that this devious type was also admired in real life: “Real-life personalities were highly esteemed for their alleged bootlegging under Prohibition... At the onset of Prohibition, a bootlegging industry flourished from the start, and drinking became more in vogue than ever. Upper-class citizens gained prestige by offering outlawed alcohol to their house guests and by taking friends to popular speakeasies” (Fitzgerald, “The Great” 151). Read on
•The Great Gatsby – The American Dream?
•The Jazz Age, Essays by F. Scott Fitzgerald