How did many writers of the 1920s react to the changes of the Jazz Age?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the nature of the question is a wide open one, and one that is going to endure much in way of discussion and debate.  The question is a thought provoking one and very open to different interpretations.  Certainly, writers like Fitzgerald had one approach to the changes offered in the 1920s.  Fitzgerald was able to bring out the tragic element of such changes.  The close line between heroic changes and tragic ones was brought out in his work, oftentimes displaying complexity in characters that reflected the nuances of the time period.  I believe that another approach that writers sought to emphasize the change of the 1920s was in the work of the Harlem Renaissance writers like Hurston and Hughes, where cultural identity became extremely important and essential to one's own state of being.  In these cases, the writers were able to understand and seize the moment of change in the decade and pivot towards using this change to enhance and develop their own writing skills. This becomes vitally important in being able to articulate a vision whereby individuals are able to understand and grasp the nature of change during the Jazz Age, a time period where emerging as the only real victor of the First World War did much to provide change on all levels and on in which the writers served as "cable boxes" or "transmitters" that enabled the public and the "schoolmaster," as Fitzgerald would say of later years, to better understand the time period.

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