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Author Topic: Great Gatsby  (Read 2138 times)  Share 

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Great Gatsby
« on: April 24, 2018, 10:32:51 pm »
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 02:55:05 pm by superpidge »

literally lauren

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Re: Context and The Great Gatsby?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 10:43:37 am »
Writing essay on the great gatsby. It needs to be about how the txt makes commentary on the context of production and how it still has soemthing relevant for today! I am stuck. Any help appreciated .
How the text comments on its context:
(I'm assuming this refers to the 1920's when Fitzgerald wrote the book)
- You could discuss the "Roaring Twenties" or "Jazz Age" and the zeitgeist of society at the time. This was before the Great Depression when everyone was basically insanely wealthy, loved getting drunk, and had wild parties. This is what Nick critiques when he talks about "careless people" like Tom and Daisy.
("They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.")

- However, this is also a post-WWI text and as such hints at some of the trauma of the aftermath of war. The young adult generation of Americans were people who survived the chaos and violence and war who now wanted to *live* as much as they could (i.e. drinking, partying, just general disregard for consequences, etc.)

- In terms of the "context of production," you could also link this to Fitzgerald's life, as there are a lot of parallels between him and Nick (and him and Gatsby). Good resource here!
Quote from: sparknotes
Like Nick in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald found this new lifestyle seductive and exciting, and, like Gatsby, he had always idolized the very rich. Now he found himself in an era in which unrestrained materialism set the tone of society, particularly in the large cities of the East. Even so, like Nick, Fitzgerald saw through the glitter of the Jazz Age to the moral emptiness and hypocrisy beneath, and part of him longed for this absent moral center. In many ways, The Great Gatsby represents Fitzgerald’s attempt to confront his conflicting feelings about the Jazz Age. Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised.

How the text is still relevant today:
- You could link the text's depiction of the Jazz Age generation to the way millennials are depicted today. For example, this generation spends more on 'experiences' than material goods, and so are more likely to go on holidays and take up expensive hobbies rather than save money for mortgages and buy houses (possibly because things like houses are so expensive, they seem out of our reach). There's also a perception that this generation is more 'carefree' or less grounded than the previous ones (see: any news article about millenials written by someone over 50 ;D ). We may not be living in a post-World War era, but maybe the post-9/11 & information age has affected or shocked this generation in a similar way.

- I think the spirit of the book's message is almost an eternal sentiment. When you look at the ending:
Quote from: End of Great Gatsby
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
^that sense of chasing dreams that you've built up inside your head, and the feeling of trying to get through life "against the current" is a very core human experience, so if you're allowed to look beyond contextual information, you could also talk about these underlying themes and how they transcend their time period.

Hope that helps! Let me know if there's more you need to explore for this essay :)