The Great Gatsby is set in New York City and on Long Island during the 1920s. The historical context of the novel plays a significant role and thematically corresponds to the carefree culture of the particular time period in America. Following WWI, the United States experienced a period of sustained economic growth, which led to a cultural, social, and artistic dynamism. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald exposes the darker side of the Roaring Twenties by illustrating its criminal background and superficial facade. Through Gatsby's extravagant parties and the Buchanans' selfish, callous personalities, Fitzgerald portrays the extensive greed and unrestrained desires of American citizens during the 1920s. Fitzgerald criticizes the depravity of the United States during the Roaring Twenties and foreshadows the unfortunate upcoming events (the Depression and WWII) by depicting Jay Gatsby's death and demise.