The Great Gatsby

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Alexander Vu
10/31/12
Period 4/5
Gatsby Research Essay
Gatsby and The Lost Generation
F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in a turbulent, contradictory time period. It was a time of great prosperity, as well as poverty. Many were excited and happy that the First World War had ended, but those that came back from the war were disillusioned with society and all the prosperity that was occurring, the horrors of war still fresh in their minds. Fitzgerald utilized these contrasting views of society, that of the Lost Generation’s disillusionment and poverty with the wealth and prosperity, and included them in his novel, “The Great Gatsby.” In the novel, the protagonist is Jay Gatsby. He was born into poverty and despised the conditions with which he had to endure, as “his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people” (Fitzgerald pg. 98) He even went so far as to drop out of college because he took up a janitorial job to support his tuition (Fitzgerald pg. 99). Later after meeting Daisy, he had to join the army and was deployed into World War I (Fitzgerald pg.148-151). When the war ended, he sought to make a fortune, and being in the Prohibition era, he was able to do so by taking advantage of the scarcity of alcohol. Part of the country was ecstatic the war was over and with great prosperity; another part was depressed from the loss of the war and wanted to escape reality; with so much demand for alcohol, the substance became incredibly valuable, and as a result, Gatsby decided to go into the bootlegging business. As defined by Montgomery College, “The ‘Lost Generation’ defines a sense of moral loss or aimlessness apparent in literary figures during the 1920s. World War I seemed to have destroyed the idea that if you acted virtuously, good things would happen. Many good, young men went to war and died, or returned home either physically or mentally wounded (for most, both), and their faith in the moral guideposts that had earlier given them hope, were no longer...
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