Today, the moniker “Jazz Age” has come to signify, as a kind of evocative shorthand, the 1920s in both academic and pop culture. This ranges from the music, attire, money, and even personalities. One of the earliest such pieces, “The Appeal of Primitive Jazz” (1917), decried the “colored” groups as seeming to be “infected with a virus” that made them “shake and jump and writhe in ways to suggest a return of the medieval jumping mania.” If such casual dismissiveness was not enough, the writer then argued that jazz was performed by “savages” who showed their “aggressive” and “retarded” nature through music, an image that would likely have brought to some readers’ minds the image of Gus from the 1915 movie Birth of a Nation, in which Gus, an old colonial caricature of black men as dangerous and sexually rapacious, assaults white women. A new film tells the story of Ron Stallworth, a black police officer who infiltrated the KKK in 1972. All Rights Reserved. 3, Discovering America: A Special Issue (Dec., 1992), pp. It is difficult to overstate the pre-eminence of jazz in the early twentieth century in America, appearing as a theme in everything from clubs to cartoons to realist fiction. This is shown when the main characters attend a big ceremony together. However, with these bold changes in culture came a shift in the morals of the American People. The Great Gatsby fulfills its role of portraying the Jazz Age accurately, illustrating many of the values of this time period, key among them revolution, innocence, excess, and disillusionment. Help, Use multiple resourses when assembling your essay, Use Plagiarism Checker to double check your essay, Get help from professional writers when not sure you can do it yourself, Do not copy and paste free to download essays. Throughout the book Nick is the non-reliable narrator . Whether you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you’ll remember the huge impact that the jazz scene had on its main character, Jay Gatsby. Most of the United States lived under Jim Crow, a series of laws and social codes that forced black Americans to live, work, and learn separately from whites. 233-248, Professor J. Sadly, the Jazz Age was also a period of intense racial segregation due to America’s Jim Crow laws. One of the most obvious forms of materialism is the pursuit of money. Jazz, in this all-too-common line of reasoning, did not advance us; it brought us backwards, and possibly even endangered white listeners. From flapper skirts to bootleg distilleries, it seemed like nothing was off-limits in Gatsby’s world. Some of the hippest cocktails of the 1920s were called Gin Rickey, Crème de Menthe, and the Manhattan. Fitzgerald himself said the Jazz Age was ‘served by filling stations full of money’, thus he is commenting on his use of motor cars throughout the novel to represent the superficiality and affluence of the Jazz Age, and the way in which there was an endless supply of money to fuel the period. The decade of the 1920s is also often called the Jazz Age, a time when musicians like Jelly Roll Morton, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong brought jazz music to a mainstream audience.
They crossed our path and we lived to tell the tale. In the years immediately following World War I, such novel orchestration was conventionally termed “jazz” or “novelty music.” Other acts featured well-known songs, like Ethelbert Nevin’s “The Rosary,” played on unexpected instruments. In fact, one could argue that there would be no Great Gatsby without the jazz scene. And Flappers- A Flapper was a “new breed” of young western women in the 1920’s who wore skirts, bobbed their r hair , listened to jazz and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. For example Gatsby’s house is described as “a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (Fitzgerald 5), thus showing the magnificence in which Gatsby lives and a insight into how people lived Scott Fitzgerald, in his 20th century novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ chooses to depict the Jazz Age as a superficial, lethargic age fuelled by capitalism caused by the boom of the stock market after the First World War. The colossal nature of the mansions looming over Nick’s house are also used by Fitzgerald to illustrate how confined and restricted poorer people were by this society, and how they could never hope to tower above the mansions as they were forever cast into the shadows of consumerism, where no light of wealth could enter. About the pair’s moves, Nick reveals, “Daisy and Gatsby danced. That meant that African Americans were forced to have different jobs, go to different schools, and live in different neighborhoods than their Caucasian counterparts. Many americans found new wealth and enjoyed the booming economy. ATTENTION: Please help us feed and educate children by uploading your old homework! The white, wealthy main characters listen to jazz music but do not socialize with black New Yorkers, and, in a particularly troubling passage, Nick expresses derisive amazement to see a fancy car with black passengers driven by a white chauffeur. Many popular acts included unusual sounds on stage, using washboards, saws, and other household items as instruments, usually for comic effect. When her companions, Bimbo and Koko the Clown, attempt to save her, they are chased by a cannibal in an extended scene in which their pursuer morphs into a gigantic black head, which then shifts into Armstrong’s own face, then back into the cannibal, the head’s engorged proportions suggesting the exaggerations of minstrel shows. A protean genre, it contained just about everything: skits, song-and-dance routines, comedy performances, minstrel shows, sketches, and more. Fitzgerald uses the idea of a ‘Lost Generation’ in order to convey the juxtaposing side to the Jazz Age, of lack lustre, bored women, and men with too much power to know what to dowith. The African-American musician James Reese Europe popularized jazz in France during WWI, performing “novelty music” with the 369th Infantry Band in 1918; earlier, he had formed the Clef Club, a society and band for black musicians, which would make history by playing the “new” music at Carnegie Hall. Although the word “jazz” only appears a few times in the Great Gatsby, the music itself is ever-present; when music is playing in the background, Fitzgerald frequently refers to saxophones and horns, iconic instruments of the genre. Each of these clearly reflects the customs and course of this time period. Moreover, white critics often associated jazz with minstrelsy. at that time. The earnest contributions to music history by black vaudeville performers was almost always overshadowed by the contemptuous, caricatured performances of white Americans wearing blackface in minstrel shows. Gatsby’s action reflects his idealist character and the way in which his arms are ‘stretched’ illustrates his desire to achieve the things that he wants to, a desire which is fundamental to the American Dream. Throughout the novel, there are sections where Nick is narrating whilst he is intoxicated, which Fitzgerald uses not only to illustrate the thriftless nature of society at this time, but it allows the reader to understand how easy it was for people to get captivated by the glitz and glamour of a wealth new to this generation. Get tips and ideas in OUTLINE. Type: Don't use plagiarized sources.
Fitzgerald’s use of the noun ‘imitation’ demonstrates how the West Egg, which had thrived as a result of the Jazz Age, was just a lesser version of East Egg, which had a culture and history that the Roaring Twenties could not provide because of its superficial nature. It is this nuance of life in the 1920’s that allow the reader to fully put themselves in not only the emotions of the characters but the history of the time period.
McMechan is therefore illustrating the death of the American Dream through the way in which some people gained an excess of wealth during this period with little work, whereas others could not work hard enough to escape poverty. What is presented to the readers is a feminine spirit that advocates money and selfishness world. Jordan Baker is also a woman representative of the Lost Generation, she is ‘completely motionless’ when she is first introduced, ‘as if she were balancing something (on her chin)’, the adjective ‘motionless’ illustrates the lack of life of Jordan, which is a complete juxtaposition of the vivacity of Gatsby’s parties, as well as Tom’s party in New York. Type:
Fitzgerald’s novel addr… New fashion, attitude, and music is what nicknamed this era the “Jazz Age,” greatly influencing Fitzgerald’s writing. It is said to be one of the greatest American novels of the last century, not only for it’s […], Imagine you were a young woman in the 1920s. These qualities are clearly shown throughout the novel with the woman characters such as Daisy. The reason gatsby threw theses wild parties was to gain the attention of his love daisy. Great Gatsby: The Age of Wonderful Nonsense, The Great Gatsby – Dichotomy Illusion vs Reality, The Lack of Justice and Karma in The Great Gatsby. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select.
The good manners are reflected by gentlemen who always offer a helpful hand to charming ladies. An iconic example of this was Al Jolson’s blackface performance in the epochal 1927 movie, The Jazz Singer, which heralded the end of the silent film era.
Jim Crow is not explicitly discussed in the novel, as for many white Americans, it was an accepted state of affairs. This is because Nick Caraway is the only character who in fact winds up changing by the end of the book. Gatsby regards Daisy as the ideal woman, and holds her in the highest esteem, whereas to Tom, Daisy is little more than a display of his wealth; as a result Daisy is torn in personality, and Nick had ‘no sight into Daisy’s heart’.
He thinks to himself what an extraordinary man this Gatsby must be but the magic does come from Gatsby. Cook, for example, went on to produce the first African-American Broadway musical comedy, Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk, in 1898. The Jazz Age In The Great Gatsby. Since these parties are very large, there is time for privacy when anybody wants it and time for intimate moments without anybody realizing. The music played an important role in everybody’s lives and the level of playing at the time surpassed in quality any other period in history. Rate this post The Idea that Pervades Society The American dream is the longing of success that means a happy family and equal opportunity to go from rags to riches, through hard work. In Fitzgerald’s most popular novel, The Great Gatsby, jazz appears as constant background music. Even though Fitzgerald doesn’t exactly mention the Jim Crow era in his book, there’s a simple explanation: many of the events that happened during the Jim Crow period were seen as completely normal by the American people at that time. After indulging in the excess of the Jazz Age throughout the novel, Gatsby’s act finally comes to an end. This time period, people started to relax with trying to save money, and drinking and dancing had become a common past time.
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