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Gatsby Essay

By Lolarocks1 Jan 01, 2013 629 Words
Gatsby Essay
"The beauty and splendor of Gatsby's parties masked the innate corruption within the heart of the Roaring Twenties. Jazz-Age society was a bankrupt world, devoid of morality, and plagued by a crisis of character," are the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald. This statement is true of the time period due to the fact that Daisy, Tom and Jordan were, in contrast to Gatsby, completely self-absorbed in their own pleasures, paying no attention to the honor and value of morality. At this time, many people began to take interest in material things rather than non-material things.

In the 1920’s, the want for material things was rising as well as crime. The Prohibition Act of 1920, which banned alcohol, was the first step. Since almost all the states accepted this amendment, people began to demand for illegal alcohol. As demands increased, producers, suppliers, and transporters were a result. Organized crime increased in power, and corruption extended among law enforcement officials. Not only did alcohol consumption increase during prohibition, bank robberies also increased during this time. There was a lot of money in bootlegging, but the criminals found out that robbing banks was easier and more money was collected faster. Gangster’s such as Al Capone and John Dillinger were notorious for their crime sprees. The rise in the companies increased the economy and this led to a more comfortable lifestyle for many people. Many people began to see an increase in their income, so they began to spend more and thus stock market prices began to rise. Billions of dollars were invested in the stock market because people believed that they could make their fortunes this way. The corruption of the 1920’s is mostly seen through the stock market since people were greedy and only wanted to get rich, this is seen by the amount of stocks being bought.

Many characters in The Great Gatsby, support the statement that "the Jazz-Age society was a bankrupt world, devoid of morality, and plagued by a crisis of character". Daisy Buchanan is probably one of the most important characters that display this. Daisy, early in her life before she married Tom, was with Gatsby but when he went away to war, she didn’t want to wait for him anymore because she saw a better opportunity, ”of love, of money, of unquestionable practicality,” shows why she married Tom. Daisy is now rich and a socialist in the East Egg district with her husband Tom. Daisy decided to give up love for a better lifestyle and by doing this, she exhibits the devoid of morality and a crisis of character. Also, the fact that she has an affair with Gatsby which is evident when Fitzgerald states;” as he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby, pulling his face down, kissing him on the mouth.” She proves her real nature when she chooses Tom over Gatsby in Chapter 7, then allows Gatsby to take the blame for killing Myrtle Wilson even though she herself was driving the car. Daisy’s actions are a reflection of the decaying social and moral values of the 1920’s. Fitzgerald expresses the reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music—epitomized in  the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream.

The Roaring Twenties exhibit the corruption and devoid of mortality. Fitzgerald uses Daisy and Tom as symbols of what was the d4estruction of that time period. History has shown that there were many things that caused corruption, such as greed, but it was the people that kept it going. Gatsby’s parties are a reflection of what was happening and what was to become at the end of the decade.

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