The 1920s is the decade in American history known as the “roaring twenties.” Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a reflection of life in the 1920s. Booming parties, prominence, fresh fashion trends, and the excess of alcohol are all aspects of life in the “roaring twenties.”
The booming parties in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby reflect life in America during the 1920s. Gatsby displays his prominent fortune by throwing grand parties. From next door, Nick Carraway witnesses the scene of Gatsby’s fabulous summer parties:
There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and women came and went like moths among the whisperings of champagne and the stars…On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city, between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all the trains (Fitzgerald 43).
Gatsby’s house illuminates, the jazz music blares for the entire town to hear, the bubbly is served, and the guests dance until one A.M. The parties are “roaring.” Gatsby’s parties display the way Americans socialized and the lifestyle they lived during the 1920s when “Americans danced to the decades joyous music at a frantic and accelerating pace…Americans began to improvise leisure time activities that had no purpose other than having fun. People roared through the decade intent on enjoying every exciting moment of it…”(Nash 370). Life in the twenties consisted of fun, fun, and fun. Americans partied like there was no tomorrow. Gatsby’s parties reflect the way society partied in the 1920s. Americans threw expensive never-ending galas. One result from the grand parties and riches was the gain in fame.
Prominence in The Great Gatsby is imperative for life in Long Island and also reflects 1920s America. Gatsby throws magnificent parties, boasts about his car, and flaunts his costly materials. Gatsby’s materials and riches result in his vast popularity. During one of Gatsby’s parties, Nick becomes intrigued when he overhears a group gossiping about Gatsby. The gossip “was a testimony to the romantic speculation he inspired that there were whispers about him from those who had found little that it was necessary to whisper about in this world”(Fitzgerald 48). Gatsby’s fo...
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...gerald 55). Nick’s perspective on the evening has changed in an instant. In 1920s America, alcohol was just as important as it is in the novel The Great Gatsby. In America everyone was rebelling to Prohibition. Despite the law, “women who had not been allowed to drink in saloons went to the new speakeasies, where men and women gulped down Prohibition’s new drink, the cocktail”(Nash 398). Americans drank liquor when they and where they could. The consumption of alcohol in the 1920s was significant just as it was in The Great Gatsby. The amount of alcohol served at Gatsby’s parties and in general is an illustration of the overindulgence of alcohol during the 1920s. The drinking, the parties, the rich and famous, and the fashion elite make up not only Gatsby’s life but the 1920s as well.
Lavish parties, prominence, stylish clothing, and the surplus of alcohol are aspects that frame 1920s America. The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a direct reflection of the lives of American during the time. American history will always know the 1920s as the “roaring twenties” due to the spontaneity and rebellion that existed. It is no reason the decade is known as “roaring.”
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