The Great Gatsby Essay

Submitted By mckenziepowell
Words: 1172
Pages: 5

The 1920’s, known as the "Roaring Twenties" in America was a time of celebration after a devastating war. America was characterized by wealth and hopefulness in this age. The 1920’s marked an era of great change, particularly for women. It showed major impact and marked significant changes in woman after the war, with changes in their careers, fashion, and lifestyle. The Great Gatsby is a book that explored the life in the early- to mid-1920’s. Published in this era, it gives us a vivid description of that time by demonstrating symbols and character behaviors and the impossibility of American dream. The women in this book represent the women in this era and many aspect of the 1920s lifestyle.
As the war began, men were called to duty and the woman had to enter the work force to help provide for their families. During this time, the woman’s independence grew and they began to believe they could make an impact on society. When the men returned from the war the woman were unwilling to go back to their old lifestyle of being homemakers. These new style of women has no plans in their life and they can afford to wait that life happens to them. (Women in the 20's) This same year the 19th amendment was enacted, which gave woman the right to vote, making their independence even more crucial. Although many women chose to work, not all women did however; most women were strong believers in women’s rights in this era. Some women such as the character Daisy in the book The Great Gatsby, did not work but used men, including her husband Tom to fill her desires of a wealthy and bountiful life. “He gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars” (pg: 76). At first Daisy tries to break out of the mold of her past for love however, once Gatsby goes off to war Daisy falls back into the life style she once knew when Tom buys her love. Daisy felt as if Tom provided for her and gave her the independence she yearned for through money and material things. This was much different from the women who were, at the time fighting for their independence and rights. During this time, people began to spend their money on consumer goods such as cars, radios, telephones, and refrigerators. People also began to spend time and money on recreation and leisure. Professional sports began to grow in popularity, and movies and tabloid newspapers gained a foothold on America, helping everyone to share, in one way or another, in the growing materialism that categorized the Jazz Age.
The Jazz Age struck a new sense of style for woman. Woman began bobbing their hair and wearing corsets in attempt extenuating their hips, waist, and breasts, in a way to reinvent themselves and make their own rules. Women began making an image for themselves through fashion and money. Even Daisy was described as the most popular of all the girls in Louisville. In the book, Jordan makes a statement about Daisy, “She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster.”(pg: 74-75) Myrtle was much like Daisy and yearned for a bountiful life full of money and materials things. She would much rather be treated like a dog by a man with money such as Tom, then cared for by her husband Mr. Wilson who had little money. Another illustration from the book was when Myrtle and Tom were arguing about Daisy. Tom struck Myrtle; “Making a short deft movement Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” (pg: 37) Jordan also was a product of this lifestyle; however, she played golf, which is how she made her money. Jordan was a young, wealthy, mostly single woman who was admired by men wherever she went. This era was all about creating an image for everyone to envy, this required money and a higher lifestyle then most could afford. Many envied woman such as Daisy, Myrtle, and Jordan because of their lifestyle and money.
Many of the wealthy had a regular social life of parties and gatherings. Gatsby was known for elaborate parties. “People were not invited, they went…