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The Great Gatsby as a social commentary The Great Gatsby is a classic American novel from 1925 and is written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. On the one hand, The Great Gatsby is a book about love, despair and hope. On the other hand, it is about “the roaring twenties” and the aftermath of the war. After the First World War, a decade with optimism and economic growth followed. “The roaring twenties” or “Jazz age”, represented a time for change. The transition from wartime to peacetime led to general optimism and hopes for the future. This was the beginning of the modern America. In just a few years America became the richest country on earth and the culture of consumerism began. Inventions and industrialization led to economic growth, which then led to more consummation of the people, and high expectations. F. Scott Fitzgerald manages to portray and capture all of the essence of the time it was written in through several events and characters throughout the novel. For instance, people were out celebrating, partying and drinking, although there was a strong prohibition of sale, production and import of alcoholic beverages throughout the 1920s. Consequently, smuggling of alcoholic beverages became more and more common, and the black-market for alcoholic beverages propelled out of scale. In addition, the economic growth increased the demand for alcoholic beverages, thus, the economic growth and the consumerism of alcoholic beverages developed in parallel. Jay Gatsby is a character with a rather mysterious and shady past, who presumably was involved in criminal activities such as bootlegging, in order to attain his wealth. Nevertheless, the economic growth was asymmetric in the population, some people became filthy rich at the cost of the ... ... middle of paper ... ...en educated there for many years. It’s a family tradition”, we later find out that this is all lies. He is dishonest because he does not want people to know about his historic background, it is essential for him to build the image of him being born into a rich family. His desperate need of approval and acceptance from other people reflect his shallowness. Although we do not learn much about Gatsby’s family, we sense that he does not have much contact with them. Gatsby has worked his way from rags to riches, because he originally came from a poor middleclass family. Family values are overshadowed by money, which in my point of view seems superficial. When all this said, it is important to mention that his sole motivation for obtaining a fortune is Daisy Buchanan. This can justify his behaviour because in reality he is so obsessed with money because he wants Daisy.

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