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The Great Gatsby has been described as a definitive record of the glamorous side of the Jazz Age. Discuss.

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Introduction

The Great Gatsby has been described as a ?definitive record of the glamorous side? of the jazz age, discuss. The Great Gatsby is full of lavish spending, huge parties and all round hedonistic enjoyment, showing a ?definitive record of the glamorous side? of the 1920s on every level. America in the 1920s had the highest living standard in the world, the United States owned around 40% of the entire world?s wealth, with this money the established rich spent their time living a glamorous lifestyle. In the 1920s the class of the established rich certainly knew how to be glamorous, as Fitzgerald shows through Daisy and Tom Buchanan. The Buchanan?s house was ?more elaborate? then Nick expected, it was a ?Georgian Colonial mansion,? and they also had luxury items such as a ?motor boat? and ?horses.? Tom obviously took pride in his house and processions, saying that he has ?got a nice place.? The money was also spent immorally; they always seem to have a plentiful amount of alcohol, like ?the cocktails? which Tom drank like ?it was a drop on the bottom of a glass? showing he must drink a lot. ...read more.

Middle

Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda would have known first-hand how glamorous these jazz age parties were as they often attended them and they lived a glamorous life style. Yet underneath the glamour of Gatsby?s parties we see the bleaker side of the 1920s. Fitzgerald shows the work put in to the parties, to make the orange juice a butler had to press ?a little button? two hundred times.? After the parties ?eight servants? toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes? repairing the ravages of the night before,? as the party guests left so much destruction in their way. Gatsby?s parties may be glamorous but he paid a great deal to make them this way. It is alleged that Gatsby made his money immorally, by bootlegging, Tom suggests this when he said ?I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him.? It was easy to make money illegally in the 1920?s, due to prohibition many found it easy to sell alcohol over the counter or to speakeasies, which were secret bars in the 1920s, these people were often called bootleggers. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this society is contrasted with the poverty of those living near the Valley of Ashes; which is based on T.S Elliott?s poem ?The Wasteland?. Like Elliott?s wasteland, the Valley of Ashes is a hideous image of a spiritually dead world, a symbol of the collapse of moral values after the chaos of the war. In the Great Gatsby we see how the Wilson?s live, which is a stark contrast from the Buchannan?s glamorous lifestyle. Nick could not believe that the Wilson?s lived in such a place, he thought the ?garage must be a blind, and that sumptuous and romantic apartments were concealed overhead.? Their lifestyle is so unglamorous; it gives the darker side of the Jazz age. Myrtle Wilson tried hard to climb the classes by having an affair with Tom Buchannan, but even the apartment he provides for her is small and Tom treats her badly, he even breaks her nose, in his eyes she will always be lower than Daisy. George also tries very hard to make his money honestly, when Tom comes in he is so eager to have some business, George is a failure of the American Dream, he will never achieve the glamorous lifestyle he wants to provide. ...read more.

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