Included in the Modernism Era were the focus on trends and the extreme effect materialism makes on the society of the 1920’s.With the materials that one might own, it became their new way of life. In The Great Gatsby there are many signs of materialism and love for manufactured goods. Gatsby’s brilliant and luscious house was built just to impress the eyes of Daisy. This can lead on to the fact that back then, many people would win the love of others by gloating around with their so-called wealth, no matter how they received it. The rich have their way where they look-out for no one else but themselves and the ones they wish to love and be with.
The carelessness of the rich can be easily described using Tom and Daisy Buchanan. They show in many ways how in their position, they can just live their lives carelessly and look down on others. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness…” They do not need to worry about many things because if something were to happen then they could look back at their wealth and just move on with no thought about it.These people live the decadent life of the ‘roaring twenties’ that many of the writers of this era were criticizing, with the mindless, indulgent, irresponsible life style where the word ‘consequence’ does not give them a thought at all. This lifestyle of no consequences leads to the affairs and fights which lead to many other secrets and casualties.
There were murders in the streets because of the growing jealousy in the neighborhoods. The start of the Prohibition Era contributed to alcohol being absolutely illegal and hard to get, at first.Since the people who were alcoholics went out of their way to obtain liquor they became addicted too, they would go out of their way to find it. There were now ‘Bootleggers’ who smuggled in liquor to the United States by hiding the alcohol in their bootstraps. Other methods of smuggling would be to hide them in their hollow books, different looking flasks, and anything else they could think of. Speakeasies were then developed in the 1920’s.
These hidden saloons were underground places where one needed a password to get in and when they were in they must “speak easy”, or quietly, so they would not be spotted.Many secrets then arose of all the people who did these things. All the rumors of Gatsby were started because of his mischievous lifestyle. F. Scott Fitzgerald does a good job on illustrating the difference of rich and poor in his book by showing the difference in-between East Egg and West Egg. East Egg was the richest part of their state, where only the greatest men who own splendid jobs can party throughout the night.
Then there is West Egg, which is usually the run down part, but there is that one mansion where a mysterious man lives.Jay Gatsby, who has roomers running around town, lives in a house bigger than those in East Egg. He creates the term “new money” for West Egg. This would mean that they make their own money or would inherit their riches from past family members. Another modernist view used in this phenomenal novel is the Jazz Age.
This era in America was the beginning of many African-Americans showing their passion for music. It started in the small African-American town of Harlem.The Jazz Age was also a movement of youthful rebellion and futuristic expressive modernity in when the rich from East Egg would make their way to the parties at Gatsby’s mansion to indulge in the new hedonism of the time. If you were able to listen to the great music of the Jazz Age, then you were probably considered to be a rich person. This is the one of the main reasons why everyone would come to Gatsby’s parties. He would always have the greatest music playing around the house to set the luxurious mood to the rich people who came over from East Egg.
Many techniques use by F. Scott Fitzgerald are ones using symbolism from the natural society. First, there was the green light that Gatsby was caught staring at one day. This green light was specifically situated at the end of Daisy’s East Egg dock and it was hardly visible from Gatsby’s West Egg lawn. It represents Gatsby’s asspirations and dreams for the future, including winning Daisy over again. Gatsby associates it with Daisy, and in Chapter 1 he reaches toward it in the darkness as a guiding light to lead him to his goal.
Gatsby’s quest for Daisy is extensively associated with the American dream, which is to just have fun and not worry about anything and always be happy. Second, there is the Valley of Ashes. These were introduced in Chapter 2 by showing where George and Myrtle Wilson live. This Valley is in between West Egg and East Egg. It consists of a long stretch of desolate land created by the dumping of industrial ashes.
It represents the moral and social decay that results from the uninhibited pursuit of wealth, as the rich indulge themselves with regard for nothing but their own pleasure.The valley of ashes also symbolizes the plight of the poor, like George Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result. This was a great idea of F. Scott Fitzgerald to throw in the book because instead of just having two sides of the story, there is that middle passage that contributes to more conveniences in the story.
Included in with the Valley of Ashes is the third symbolism, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. These eyes are painted on a worn down billboard that oversees the Valley of Ashes.
The eyes are shown with spectacles over them to show sophistication in them.Many characters in the book see the eyes as God himself looking over the American society, but this is never shown in the novel specifically. Otherwise, F. Scott Fitzgerald shows that symbols about these eyes are only distilled through the characters views.
Like as in the eyes of George Wilson, he sees the billboard as God and he uses it as his ultimate source of morality. It brings grief back to his eyes every time now that Myrtle is dead because he told her about the billboard, “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me but you can’t fool God! ...
God sees everything”.