Comparing The Great Gatsby And The Jazz Age

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Gatsby and the Jazz Age
The aftermath of World War 1 led to a time of growth and prosperity that the United States had not experienced before in its short lifetime. This period of time was one of innovation and celebration. People lived a fast paced and glamourous life with new freedoms and a new culture. Nothing would be the same after these years of excess and extravagance. This time that shaped our nation is known as the Jazz Age. The Jazz Age lasted for about ten years but its effects are still prevalent in modern society. 1920 through 1929 are the years that make up the Jazz Age. One novel that has captured the life of this decade is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The 1920s come to life through Fitzgerald’s characters,
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Gatsby is a prime example of wealth after the war. Gatsby served in the war and returned home and became wealthy. This was a common aspect in the United States during the Jazz Age because the nation’s total wealth almost doubled in this decade. “Between 1921 and 1924 the country’s gross national product jumped from $69 billion to $93 billion while aggregate wages rose from roughly $36.4 billion to $51.5 billion. The United States had entered World War I a debtor nation and emerged as Europe’s largest creditor,” (Zeitz, par. 3). After the war the nation was quite wealthy and with this wealth came a shift in social class. This shift can be seen in the novel, “The Great Gatsby, provides a useful commentary on social class in America during the 1920s. The title character, Jay Gatsby, moves to a higher class from that into which he was born by amassing great wealth.” (Verderame, par. 1). As shown through Gatsby and his new fortune, money was rather important during the jazz age and it was available to many Americans during this time. “Money was a preoccupation of the middle class.” (Donaldson par. 2), this was due partly to, in Gatsby’s case especially, the desire to be a member of the upper
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