Scott F. Fitzgerald, the Roaring 1920s Society, and the New Women

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In the 1920’s, the United States economy boomed, bringing with it a new generation and way of living. A “New Morality” was taking over the nation and replacing old traditional values (Appleby 612). New Mortality expressed youth and personal freedom (Appleby 612). This created a lifestyle based on parties and spending money (Hensley 4). This new way of life came with new inventions and technologies. The radio, phonograph, and movies were all invented during the 1920’s. The automobile also became an important necessity because it was a form of entertainment, privacy, style, and gave the youth independence and freedom (Appleby 613). With new mortality also came the “New Woman”. Young women’s fashion began to change as well in the 1920’s. Women ‘bobbed’ (shortened) their hair, wore loose fitting clothes, skirts exposing the knees, with flesh colored silk stockings (Branch 9). This stlye typically personified the flapper—a young, dramatic, and stylish woman, who smoked cigarettes, drank in prohibited speakeasies, and dressed in a way many found to be shockingly revealing (Appleby 613). F. Scott Fitzgerald exposed and empowered the “New Woman” and the flapper society lifestyle, both in his own life and in the Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald himself was a shining example of living out the new flapper society lifestyle. As a couple, Scott and his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald made tabloid newspapers with their extravagant lives. They experienced wild parties, had glamorous friends, and did wild stunts. According to one reported occasion, Scott and Zelda “jumped, fully clothed, into the fountain in front of New York’s Plaza Hotel” (Hensley 18). Zelda Fitzgerald herself symbolized the flapper spirit. She told women to be “light-hearted [and] unconventional” rather than focused on “a career that calls for hard work” (Appleby 613). In 1921 Scott and Zelda had their first and only child, a daughter named Scottie, which expressed the new 1920’s culture too as...
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