Fitzgerald Satirises the 1920s Jazz Age Essay

1119 WordsNov 28, 20135 Pages
“Fitzgerald satirises the 1920s Jazz age in the first three chapters of The Great Gatsby”. Do you agree? It is thought that Fitzgerald satirises the 1920s Jazz age in the opening chapters of The Great Gatsby, as he often ridicules the characteristics of that time and focuses on the negative aspects that surrounded this new emerging lifestyle. He does this by making frequent references to the major social, cultural and economic changes that were occurring in the period known as “The Roaring Twenties”. We are left to believe that Fitzgerald was highly discontented with this new lifestyle- being part of the “lost generation” himself – and we get the sense that he thought that the boom wouldn’t last, which he may have accurately predicted as the stock market inevitably crashed in 1929. In fact, he often tries so clearly to highlight the darker side and harsh reality of this era, that the reader is often left considering the possibility that Fitzgerald has much stronger motives for this novel than we initially expect. Was Fitzgerald’s main reason for writing this novel to convey the immorality and corruption in society at that time? The first suggestion we get of this is through the way Fitzgerald conveys the women at that time, and through the features of the female characters. He often makes negative references to the typical “flapper” style that was present in New York at this time, and focused on the growing independence of women. We are given the impression that he disapproves of their new style, as he describes Catherine of having eyebrows drawn on at a “rakish angle” along with her “sticky bob” of red hair. He describes the more provocative clothing women wore, such as Myrtle’s dress that was “stretched tight” which evokes the emancipation of women. It is also suggested that Fitzgerald disapproves of the new attitudes of women – their increased

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