The 1920s in America were a decade of great social change.
From fashion to politics, forces clashed to produce a very ^Roaring^ decade. Jazz sounds dominated the music industry. It was the age of prohibition, the age of prosperity, and the age of downfall. It was the age of everything, and this can be witnessed through the novel by F.
Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. The Roaring Twenties help create Gatsby’s character. Gatsby’s participation in the bootlegging business, the extravagant parties he throws, and the wealthy, careless lifestyle the Buchanans represent are all vivid pictures of that time frame. It turns out, although he was used and abused by all the people whom he thought of as friends, Jay Gatsby ^turned out alright in the end.^ (Fitzgerald 6) It almost seems as if he is better off dead, according to the narrator, because all his so-called ^friends^ either deserted him or used him for their own personal gain. There are signs of this all! throughout the novel, but it is especially evident in the final chapters.
In chapter seven, when Myrtle Wilson is killed, Daisy accepts no responsibility for Myrtle^s death. She just sits back and lets Gatsby take all the blame for her actions. Gatsby is very willing to do so, because of the love he has for Daisy. All Gatsby can think about after the accident is what Daisy went through, it was as if ^Daisy^s reaction was the only thing that mattered.^ (Fitzgerald 151) Gatsby stands outside of Daisy and Tom^s house for hours, waiting for a sign from Daisy that things were alright. ^I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed.^ (Fitzgerald 153) Inside, as she talks with Tom, Daisy shows no remorse, she just continues with her life as if it never happened.
In chapter eight, Gatsby recounts for Nick all the memories he has of Daisy and him together. ^She was the first ^nice^ girl he had ever known.^ (Fitzgerald 155) ^…Daisy, gleaming like silver…^ (Fitzgerald 157) This makes it especially hard for Nick to see Gatsby still in love with Daisy. While around Gatsby, Daisy either pretends to be, or is in love with Gatsby. This is evidenced when Daisy ^pulled his (Gatsby^s) face down kissing him in the mouth.^ (Fitzgerald 122) Then when she is in her kitchen with Tom after Myrtle^s death, ^there was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy…they were conspiring together.^ (Fitzgerald 152) In the final chapter, Gatsby^s funeral takes place; however, no ^friends^ that had frequented his parties, with the exception of owl-eyes, bother to come to his funeral. Not even Tom and Daisy attended.
They ^…had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them.^ (Fitzgerald 172) Nick desperately ^wanted to get someone for him.^ (Fitzgerald 172) Nick went to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim, but Wolfsheim ^can^t get mixed up in it…my own rule is to let everything alone.^ (Fitzgerald 180) Klipspringer wasn^t sure if he could make it, because he was supposed to go out for a picnic with some Greenwich friends. The only people at the funeral were Nick, Mr. Gatz (Gatsby^s father,) owl-eyes, the minister, the postman from West Egg, and four or five servants. Through all of this, it seems as though Gatsby was better off dead. He didn^t realize it, but he was being used by practically everyone around him.
Daisy and Tom, the partygoers, pretty well everyone but Nick. It goes to show that wealth can lead to corruption in the human heart and soul. Fitzgerald shows how this affluent society had a hollow core of pretense and emptiness, and how many of the wealthy were cruel and heartless. This decade began with an uproar and ended with an uproar, and truly earned the name ^The Roaring Twenties.^