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How is The Great Gatsby a realistic novel? 

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user2214207 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 9, 2013 at 1:38 PM via web

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How is The Great Gatsby a realistic novel? 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 9, 2013 at 8:46 AM (Answer #1)

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The Great Gatsby is a realistic novel in its historical setting of the 1920s, a time that Fitzgerald himself named the Jazz Age. In its portrayal of the flapper, represented by Jordan Baker, the cars of the era and the fascination with them as well as the reckless behavior that accompanied their invention there is, indeed, much realism.  The songs that play in the background such as "Beale Street Blues" and "Three O'Clock in the Morning" are from the era.

Certainly the people from East Egg are caricatures of the people with whom Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald associated when they lived in the East; Tom as the supercilious and overbearing man of money and position is representative of some of the men with whom Fitzgerald was acquainted.

His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiouosness he conveyed.  There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked--and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts.

Described as a lyrical realist, Fitzgerald conjures images and evokes emotions with his descriptive and poignant scenes that realistically portray people's desires for material acquisition.


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