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1920s Era of Great Change

1920s Era of Great Change

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1920s Era of Great Change

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  1. 1920s Era of Great Change Anthony Parisi Claire Hatala Maria Maguire Megan Witt

  2. Topic How does The Great Gatsby reflect the 1920s as an era of great change? Include the underdeveloped social issues in Gatsby such as racism, domestic violence and the loosening morals of the 1920’s.

  3. Background on The Change in the 1920s During the 1920s, This time period can be known as the “Roaring Twenties.” This time period was a period of Great Change in America. It showed points of overall success in the First World War, To the survival of the influenza epidemic of 1918, and also a strong economy leading to a period of optimism and a new attitude of seeking fun. But at the same time, came great despair. During this time, there were many crude and prejudice groups including the KKK who were racist of Non-Americans. There were many different themes during the 1920s. Along with these examples, Change was the biggest factor in the Roaring Twenties.

  4. Women's Clothing Prior to 1920 Between 1880 and 1910, the ideal women's body shape resembled the letter “S”. They were forced into tiny circlets measuring less than 20 inches. The upper torso was pushed forward, thus creating a “Pigeon Front” and the hips were pointed backwards. Women’s skirts hit the floor, and the sight of an ankle was looked at to be racy. Poufy Gibson Girls hairdos of the 1900’s and 1910’s were the primary style of hair.

  5. Women’s Clothes During the 1920s Looser Clothing, Hidden Waist Line and Suppressed Bust Line. The normal desired figure of the 1920’s was the thin, tanned, flat face and the body of a 15 year old. While before the 1920’s skirts were usually long and hit the floor, now the calf was being shown reaching the calf in length. The Flapper fashion was introduced and more seen in the 1920s. From this Flapper Fashion, the average shapeless dresses are seen, with short hair, wore makeup and even smoked.

  6. Economic Policies In the 1920s more people tended to move to cities, than live in rural areas. These events became to be known as Urbanization. This was first account of Urbanization ever seen in History. This can be seen in Gatsby mostly when some of the Main Characters moved from the Mid-West to cities and surrounding towns such as New York City and Long Island. As we see from the picture to the right, There are more population increases in the north because of the major cities locations.

  7. Consumerism: What is it? Consumerism or Materialism encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts as a partial solution to our desire of happiness. From this we can see it drives the American “Pursuit of Happiness.” Mass production and chain stores drove down prices and encouraged consumers to spend. More Americans started to buy durable goods such as cars and stoves. Americans tended to spend more money on entertainment such as movies. As a result of over spending, The Great Depression occurred in the 1930s.

  8. Consumerism in Gatsby Consumerism is used heavily in The Great Gatsby. This is seen when Gatsby would give Daisy tours of his house to prove himself through his own wealth. Gatsby tried to search for happiness throughout his extravagant parties, but not in personal relationships.

  9. Prohibition In The Eighteenth Amendment. The selling, making, and transportation of Liquor was made illegal on January 16th 1920. Since Prohibition banned only the sale, transport and manufacturing of Liquor, this opened many cases of abuse. This did not permanently ban the use of Alcohol. From this Abuse, the word “Speakeasies” came about. At these “Speakeasies” people would illegally drink Liquor in underground bars. From history, Alcohol was often smuggled in large amounts from Canada. Federal Prohibition Agents had no right to break into these underground bars if the doorman refused entry.

  10. Prohibition in Relation to Gatsby An example of one of Gatsby’s Extravagant Parties (Above) In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby would have free flowing Liquor for his guests at his extravagant parties. This, of course, was breaking the law of Prohibition but Gatsby did what he wanted anyway. In the novel, No one really knows how Gatsby received his wealth. During the time of Prohibition, Doctors would give prescriptions to patients for different sicknesses or problems. These included Alcoholism and Gatsby would use this to an advantage. From this, Gatsby opened a chain of drugstores along with the help of corrupt politicians and organized crime. As we know, Gatsby has been involved in illegal activities including boot-legging otherwise known as the illegal manufacturing, transportation, and selling of alcohol.

  11. Racism (Example of Fold out map above) Racism was commonly used in the 1920s and especially in Gatsby. As Seen on Page 13, “Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard? Well it’s a fine book and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be utterly submerged. Its all scientific stuff; its been proven.” During a scene in the novel, Tom, Daisy, Jordan and Nick were discussing a book that Tom had read. This book was named “The Rise of the Colored Empire” by Goddard. The Book included a series of fold out maps warning that “Colored Migration is a universal peril, menacing every part of the white world.”

  12. Domestic Violence During the Age of the 1920’s Domestic Violence was not recognized as a serious crime, but, was deemed illegal in 1920. As seen in Gatsby on Page 37 “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!” Shouted Mrs. Wilson. Ill say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai – Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with an open hand.” As seen from this quote, Domestic Violence was not looked down upon in the 1920s. Clip: As we can see in this clip, after Tom punched Myrtle in the face, everyone around them did nothing about it. This shows validity in the fact that the act of domestic violence was not really looked down upon in society at the time.

  13. Loosening Morals There were many cases of Loosening Morals in the 1920s. As a first, Women were more commonly cheating on their husbands. Women were starting to wane on their complete loyalties to their husbands. Instead of divorcing them, the women would keep their marriages just for social norms. Rich Men began to sleep with many women and not care about what people thought of them because their immense wealth blinded their morals.

  14. Loosening Morals In Relation to Gatsby The Loosening Morals in Men and Women can be shown through the adultery of Tom, Daisy, and Myrtle Wilson. As we can see on page 15, Jordan States, “You mean to say you don’t know?” said Ms. Baker honestly surprised. “I Thought everybody knew.” This quote was about the adultery of Tom and Myrtle. It can also be see when Tom takes Nick to the city to introduce him to his “girl” Adultery is shown heavily in Gatsby but not really looked down upon. Another example is when Jordan Baker cheated in the golf tournament. “At her first big Golf Tournament, there was a row at nearly reached the newspapers – a suggestion that she had moved her ball from a bad lie, in the semi final round.” (Fitzgerald 57)

  15. What is the American Dream? The American Dream started with mostly poor immigrants looking for opportunities in the New World. These opportunities included Jobs, Higher Pay and also a better life all around. This idea was first originated in the Declaration of Independence which changed the attitude of hope. From this, All men were created equal and given certain unalienable rights. These rights include Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

  16. The Change in The American Dream As seen in the Great Gatsby, The American Dream changed from striving for new opportunities to trying to get as rich as possible in the shortest amount of time. In Gatsby one can see this idea in Meyer Wolfsheim fixing the 1919 world series in an effort to make a large amount of money by betting on the game. Also Gatsby himself got rich trough owning a chain of drugstores that prescribed medical alcohol. Instead of striving for equality for all, there was a segregation between those of new money and old money. This can be seen in the tension between Tom and Jay. Even Nick came to Long Island to try his hand in Stocks, a very profitable business at the time. He is also 30 years old and unwed, a very rare occurrence in the years before the 1920s. Daisy’s American Dream was a lot easier than everyone else's. She lives in her American Dream with Tom and his Money. She does not have any aims in her life and having all the luxury around her already she lives in the moment and doesn’t think about the future. Tom was pretty much born into his America Dream. He never had to work, since he got all his wealth from this parents. But, Losing Daisy would be a period of major change in his life because he sees her as one of his professions.

  17. Works Cited "The American Dream:." The American Dream. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. <>. Bernstein, Mrs. "The Great Gatsby: Cultural Context of the 1920s." The Great Gatsby: Cultural Context of the 1920s. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>. "Tom Break Myrtle's Nose." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>. Rivers, Mrs. F.-Scott-Fitzgerald-Background-Notes.docx. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. Rivers, Mrs. The-Roaring-20s-Background-notes.docx. N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

  18. Works Cited Bob, Anthony. "The Great Gatsby: Racism." Anthony Bob, 12 June 2013. Web 13 Feb. 2014. <>. Marciello, Jessica. "Materialism and Consumerism in the Great Gatsby and American Culture." N.p., 28 Apr. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>. "Materialism in the Great Gatsby and the Jazz Age." HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <>.