A blog dedicated to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and everything about the 1920's

This Day In History: 1920's Edition

  • 1925 - The Chrysler Corporation is founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


On January 16th, 1919 following centuries of protest and growing support for the temperance movement the 18th Amendment banning the sale and production of Alcohol in the United States was passed by the United States Congress. This brought about the age of Prohibition which led to widespread crime, bootlegging, and growth of mafia groups.

(A Lithograph from the early years of Temperance showing the progression of Drunkenness, click for full picture.)

The temperance movement began very early on even before the United States had become the United States. Many religious groups believed alcohol was the devils drink and as such pushed for Temperance even prior to the American Revolution.

As the years went on throughout the veins of American History there was a progression of Temperance led primarily by women who believe that Alcohol had a undesirable effect on their men. By the late 1800's the temperance movement was being led by women temperance groups who had religious backgrounds as well.

When progressivism began to take hold in the early 1900's the temperance movement took an even stronger hold in the political realm. By 1919 prohibition had come about with the installment of the 18th amendment.

However all was not well. There were many people who disliked the law. Many went against it which brought about the implications of Organized crime and mobsters. There was also a spike in bootlegging and beer runners. With the banning of alcohol people still found ways to enjoy a drink. Speakeasies became a mainstay of urban areas named so because they needed to keep quiet as to not attract attention from police.

With so many problems arising from prohibition and the means to control it dwindling due to the Great Depression the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st in 1933. However, the implications of Prohibition remained with organized crime becoming a mainstay of urban areas on the East coast.

All Images courtesy of Wikimedia

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

.The Women of Gatsby

The 1920's was a time of change for women. They were coming out of their shells and becoming more independent. "They also gave women new role models: the strong, independent women who was capable of taking care of herself, asserting her sexuality, and making a living at the same time." (http://www.1920s-fashion-and-music.com/famous-people-in-the--1920s.html) The women that attended Gatsby's parties were flirtatious, independent, and care-free. These women would flirt with men at the parties and dance with different people. These ladies weren't afraid to have some fun.

The women of Gatsby were very independent. They dressed up in extravagant outfits and made themselves feel beautiful. They were confident and outgoing. They believed in themselves and the new, daring personality that came along with that. These women spent their time dancing, gossiping, and having the time of their lives.

These women were also rebellious and daring. They drank in public, smoked, and were of low moral character. "They rode bicycles and drove cars, drank(often in public), and smoked cigarettes through long holders" (http://noticeboard.arikiart.com/2008/08/flappers-of-1920s.html) This new time of rebellion and fun was exciting to them. It was something different and it felt good to them to do what they pleased and not worry. Gatsby's parties were where they acted on their rebellious ways.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Green Light

The Green Light in The Great Gatsby holds so much symbolism. Gatsby being seperated from this green light,where Daisy lives, by the ocean makes it difficult for him in his heart. It represents his longing to be with her. Her being so far away across the sea makes it almost impossible for him to get to her. "In our first acquaintance with the light, we see Gatsby reaching for it, almost, in a way, worsipping it" (https://www.msu.edu/~millettf/gatsby.html) Gatsby has almost idolized this green light because everytime he looks at it, he thinks of Daisy and how much he wants to be with her again.

Another interesting factor about the green light, is the fact that it is green. Green represents go, speed up, or move farward. That of which Gatsby compelled to do, but unfortunately he cannot. As much as he wants to go forward and get to her, he is being restricted by the ocean layed out infront of him.

Finally, the green light represents how Gatsby is never satisfied. He's always wanting something more. Sometimes things he can't have. He doesn't know how to be happy with all the wealth that he has. While a huge party was going on at his house, instead of enjoying himself and being satisfied with all the riches he has, he was outside looking at the ocean, longing for Daisy. Wanting something more, something he couldn't have. "And no matter how much he has he never feels complete" (http://www.homework-online.com/tgg/symbolLight.html) Gatsby could have everything in the world he could possibly ever ask for, but that would never be enough.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Unrequited Love...

Unrequited love is defined as a love "That is not returned or reciprocated in any kind" by the Merriam Websters dictionary. However, the feeling of unrequited love can be a harsh and unforgiving one. The feeling that your love is not being reciprocated at all can be something that tears you apart.

In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Gatsby's love for Daisy is not reciprocated multiple times. However with Nick's help this is changed. Daisy finally realizes the love that Gatsby is emanating towards her being.

The feeling of unrequited love is the topic of many books, movies, and songs. One such song is Coldplay's "Shiver" off of their 2000 album "Parachutes." The song follows a young man's attempt to gain a womans attention singing about how he would "look in your direction but you pay me no attention and you know how much I need you but you never even see me." This feeling of unrequited love is a universal feeling that many will feel at some point in their lives.

Images courtesy of Google Images

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Selfish People

Selfish: Holding one's self-interest as the standard for decision making; having regard for oneself above others' well-being. Selfishness, we all take part of it at one point or another. It's something some try to stay away from, while others simply don't even think about it. "Selfishness is mankind's fundamental defect" (http://www.believers.org/believe/bel221.htm) Selfishness is the root of many problems. It can cause broken hearts, relationship departure, chaos within the hearts and minds of others around you, and so much more. Selfishness is putting yourself first, thinking about what you desire or need rather than anyone else.

Two characters in The Great Gatsby that posses selfish attitudes are Tom and Myrtle. Even though they are both married, they choose to follow their selfish desires and give in to the temptation of cheating. Even though they are together, Tom realizes what a fool he was for even getting into a relationship with Myrtle in the first place. He sees that she was just as satisfying as Daisy was and is upset with the fact that he has to be a partner in two different relationships now.

Myrtle, on the other hand, is jealous of Daisy because she has to share Tom. She's being selfish because she's upset with the fact that Daisy has Tom too. She's also selfish because she takes his money without a care. Myrtle saw a man selling puppies on the street and told Tom to buy her one. Instead of asking him if it was okay, she assumed he would buy her one. "It has been said that selfishness is the great curse of the human race. Certainly to live selfishly is to be shut off from life; to be blind to the perspectives, needs and concerns of others."(http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/personal-skills/selfishness)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Men Of "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the novel by F. Scott Fitgerald there are two primary male characters.

The first of the two is the title character Jay Gatsby. Gatsby, the main protagonist of the entire novel is one of the wealthiest and lavish people in the novel. Gatsby is one of the most well-known people of the town while still maintaining a heavy air of strange mystery. No one seems to have a straight story about where Gatsby's immense wealth comes from though a strong story seems to have him descending from Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. However, Gatsby states to Nick during a car ride that he is the only remaining family of a group of wealthy eastern settlers with a lot of old money. Whichever stories are true Gatsby is an exceptional person with much to offer anyone who has the honor to meet him.

The second primary male character is the narrator Nick Carroway whose luck has allowed him into the area that is inhabited by the wealthy Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. His beginnings were humble enough and after The Great War Nick ended up in West Egg living next to the wealthy Jay Gatsby. He comes to serve as a trust worthy person for all to retell their secrets too. His trustworthiness earns him a major part in rekindling the Love between Gatsby and Daisy.

Information courtesy of Sparknotes.com
Images courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Beauty of Jealousy

Jealousy is a emoiton that typically refers to the negative thoughts that are brought from pain, anger, anxiety, or many others from losing something or never having something that someone else does. Jealousy is a very self-centered emotion and not only hurts you, but the ones around you. "By the 1910s and the 1920s, many child-rearing experts had ceased thinking of envy as a sin. They still regarded it as a problem; hovever, believing that children who did not learn to conquer the emotion in youth might grow up to be insuited for the corporate world which increasingly demanded cooperation and teamwork" (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3402800247.html) This statement is very true. Having a jealousy problem is very unhealthy and is something that should be taken care of right away at a younger age so that it doesn't become so difficult and so much more serious as an adult. So much jealousy will only end in pain and suffering.

Jealousy can wreck bonds and relationships between people. Whether it be friends, family, or partners, jealousy creates distance and emptiness. The constant nagging, questioning, or pouting that can occur because of jealousy is something that people tend to distance themself from. Another form of jealousy is when "a jealous person will hide their emotions well and not let the outside world know what's going on, however they can allow it to tear apart the relationships of the people that love them the most-their friends and family"(http://ezinearticles.com/?Overcoming-Jealousy---What-is-Jealousy?&id=533148) In this case, people silence themselves and don't speak of this envy their dealing with. They bottle it up inside and keep it to themselves. This is also extremely unhealthy because of the mental and emotional damage it can cause to someone who is bottling anything up in general. If someone if suffering from any jealousy problems, they should try and fix the issue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help or guidence for such a situation.

Perhaps one of the most important situations where jealousy is exposed in The Great Gatsby, is when Tom and his mistress, Myrtle, get into an argument. Myrtle uses Tom's actual wife's name. He tells her not to use that name, but being jealous, she decides to try and take control of the argument by telling him she'll say her name whenever she wants and shouts "Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!" For this, Tom slaps her in the nose and causes her to bleed. Even though Myrtle is the one that Tom loves, she is still jealous of Daisy, the one Tom is still married to. Because Myrtle is jealous of Daisy, she brings her up during an argument because their is still jealousy and hatred going on the back of her mind.