The Great Gatsby Captures the Essence of the Roaring Twenties (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: Although The Great Gatsby reflected the glitter of the Roaring Twenties, the novel warned of the potential destructiveness of pursuing the American Dream at any cost.
Summary of Event
When Scribner’s published The Great Gatsby on April 10, 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald had established himself with a string of impressive money-making stories and had gained some attention from critics who pointed to his occasional flashes of literary genius. He had already published the novels This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and Damned (1922), collections of short stories including Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), and a play, The Vegetable: Or, From President to Postman (1923).
Fitzgerald was successful because he wrote with great gusto about the young post-World War I generation--its bashing of traditional values, its search for wealth, its rebelliousness, and its unorthodox behavior. His stories embodied a high degree of wish fulfillment for readers, pitching them into living vicariously among the smart set of the 1920’s, with their wild parties, sporty automobiles, and high-keyed, pleasure-seeking adventures.
Fitzgerald--whether in France, New York, or Hollywood--always used his own personal experiences and observations as the basis for his stories. So it was with The Great Gatsby,...
(The entire section is 2083 words.)
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