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.

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.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gatsby In Film...

The Great Gatsby has been filmed four times in the past century after it being written.

The first film version, directed by Herbert Brenon was released in 1926 starring Warren Baxter, Lois Wilson, and Neil Hamilton as Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carroway respectively. The film was released as a silent film during the time of the budding film industry. However, no copy of the original film has ever surfaced and as such has fallen into the realms of movie history.

The second film adaptation of The Great Gatsby came out in 1949 by director Elliott Nugent with Alan Ladd as Jay Gatsby, Betty Field as Daisy Buchanan, and Macdonald Carey as Nicholas "Nick" Carroway. This version however is widely considered to be the worst of all adaptations of the film.

The third and arguably most famous version of The Great Gatsby is the 1974 version directed by Jack Clayton and starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Sam Waterson as Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carroway respectively. This version won two Oscars as well as nominations and wins for various other awards.

The final version is the 2000 version directed by Robert Markowitz and starring Mira Sorvino, Toby Stephans, and Paul Rudd, as Daisy, Gatsby, and Nick respectively. This film flew relatively low under the radar when it first came out and as such is still surpassed by the 1974 version and of course by the book itself.

All information courtesy of http://www.imdb.com
All images courtesy of Google Images

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Roaring 20's

"The 1920's went by such names as The Jazz Age, the Age of Intolerance, and the Age of Wonderful Nonsense."(http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1564.html) The 1920's was a time of enjoyment, luxury, and change. Many spent alot of their money on the things that were new and exciting to America. Many cars, homes, and household items were purchased. A great amount of Americans were very interested in spending their money on the cars since they were now affordable and stylish. To make cars affordable and being created at a faste pace, he created mass production. "Mass productions, combined with innovations in design and sales, drove prices down an made them more affordable." (http://americanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/cars_in_the_1920s) Many household items were also being advertised and bought by the citizens of America.

The radio was also something many Americans took joy in. "The radio became popular, and people tuned in everyday." (http://www.kyrene.org/schools/brisas/sunda/decade/1920.htm) This was a form of entertainment in many American homes. Many families would gather around their radio after dinner and listen to the different stations on the radio. Another item that was purchased by many was the T-Model by Gerald Ford. This car looked great and had many eager to get their hands on one.

Another change that the 1920's went through was the formation of the Ku Klux Klan. "Roman Catholics, Jews, African Americans, and foreigners were only the most obvious targets of the Klan's fear-mongering. Bootleggers and divorcees were also targets." (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=444) These klan members were against the freedom of African Americans and immorality. By the end of World War I, there were about 3 million members who were part of the Ku Klux Klan.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Thinker, Writer, & Lost Generational

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24th, 1896 as Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald often wrote about his disillusionment with his surrounding due to the new found materialism that came after the turn of the century. This disillusionment that he wrote about led to him becoming part of what historians label as "The Lost Generation" (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=344)

One of Fitzgeralds crowning achievements was the writing of The Great Gatsby which he based on his disillusionment with the 1920's. The book delves into the social struggles of the 20's with great detail citing the class difference of the wealthy and poor and the ever-growing differences between them.

Whether or not you have read The Great Gatsby you should understand Fitzgeralds prowess as a writer. He has earned his rightful place as a "Lost Generation" writer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Wonder of Flappers

"The term "flapper" first appeared in Great Britian after World War I. It was used to describe young girls, still somewhat awkward in movement who had not yet entered womanhood." (http://history1900s.about.com/od/1920s/a/flappers.htm) During the 1920s after World War I, American Society took this term to describe the new, rebellious style that was breaking free from the woman who were fed up with all the rules that the old society had given to them.

The young women who were flappers, were all about individuality, freedom, and personal liberty. They wanted to be able to make decisions for themselves such as finding a partner, choosing a career, their sexuality, and their destiny. This was a big move for women because before this, women were conservative and more obedient to what was ordered of them. This was their chance to break free.

These rebellious girls wore skirts and dresses that revealed a little more than what America was used to. Around 1926, the length of these outfits normally remained steady around the calf area. "Hair was first bobbed, then shingled, then Eton cropped in 1926-7. An Eton crop was considered daring and shocked some older citizens, since hair had always been thought a woman's crowning glory. "(http://www.fashion-era.com/flapper_fashion_1920s.htm) They also wore make up. The flappers smoked, drank, partied, and enjoyed life. They were done with the old ways of life and ready for the new. They were also sexual and bold.

Flappers have contributed to our styles today in many ways. It's very accept for girls to wear short skirts and revealing tops in this modern time. Many could look back and say that the Flappers were the start of this change.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The 1920's: Prohibition, Evolution, and the Counter-Culture

It's the turn of the decade and the Russian Revolution is ending across the Atlantic bringing about a new age of despotism in Europe and Eastern Asia, the Kellogg-Briand Pact has just been signed agreeing to a new age that would abolish war as a means of Foreign Policy, and women have just received universal suffrage.

The 1920's were indeed an era of great prosperity and great controversy. Most historians refer to this era as the Roaring 20's because of this great amount of change and prosperity in the United States.

Controversy occurred with the prohibition of Alcohol which began on January 16th 1919, with the introduction of the eighteenth amendment. This led to a huge spike in criminal activity in many urban areas.
(Below: Police overlook while shopkeepers dump their stocks of Alcohol)

In 1925 a Kansas school teacher named John T. Scopes stirred up controversy and was put to trial in what would become known as the Scopes Monkey Trial and convicted of violating a school district principle of not teaching evolution in schools. He was eventually acquitted but still endured harsh criticism which would lead to the ever-growing divide between the devout religious and the scientific community.

(Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan discuss the Scopes Trial)

Despite much of the controversy a new wave was beginning to sprout amongst women with the ratification of the nineteenth amendment which, after over a century of struggles from women suffragists finally gave all U.S. Citizens Universal Suffrage without a bar on sex.

With this new found freedom women began experimenting during the 1920's. A boom in contraception led to sex becoming much more mainstream and the flapper became a mainstay of American Society during the 20's. No flapper was more noted than Clara Bow who became an American sex symbol during this time. She exemplified the textbook flapper with a cigarette in one hand, alcohol in the other, short hair, and an even shorter dress.

(Below: 20's Actress and Flapper Clara Bow)