The Great Gatsby
By close study of the first three chapters and their portrayal of the parties, consider how accurately Fitzgerald represents the roaring twenties. Conclude by deciding whether or not you think it is a complimentary picture or not. In the first three chapters of ‘The Great Gatsby’ we are given a good insight into life in the 1920s as we attend three different parties, all representative of different types of people and lifestyles at the time. In chapter 1 we read about the party at the Buchannan’s on East Egg, representative of old money, followed by the apartment party in the city in chapter 2, representing the more common man of the 1920s. Finally, in chapter 3 we go to Gatsby’s manor for his party on West Egg, representing new money. Throughout the book there is an idea of hedonism, simply living your life in order to maximise pleasure, which was a common lifestyle choice in the 1920s as people began to think life was too short after the events of World War I. This attitude is very evident in all three of the parties. In the first party, Nick introduces the Buchannan’s to us by informing us of Tom’s achievement in life and how everything now “savours of anti-climax”, as well as telling us that the Buchannan’s “spent a year in France for no particular reason”. This is an early indication that the Buchannan’s are living a life with no real purpose, simply trying to enjoy themselves above everything else. As the dinner goes on, we learn about Tom’s habit of latching on to random ideals and of his affair, “Tom’s got some women in New York”. Both of these things indicate further an idea of Tom doing nothing but trying to please himself and find meaning in life, adding to the further representation of hedonism in the 1920s, in this case linking it to the established upper class. In the second chapter, we go to New York to the party in the apartment with Tom, Myrtle, his mistress, and a small amount of other characters. At this party, the attitude...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document