Discuss the elements of the Jazz Age that Fitzgerald includes in The Great Gatsby.

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The twenties, also known by some as the “Jazz Age”, were the time for experiments and discovering new jazz-styles. In that period of growing industrialization black people and new-Orleans-musicians moved from the country site south to Chicago. There they helped creating the (white) Chicago-Style. Lots of Chicago musicians finally moved to New York, which was an important centre of jazz, too. Gatsby’s parties are typical for this time period. On his extravagant festivities “charm, notoriety [and] mere good manners weighted more than money as a social asset.” Proofs for this statement can be in all the gossip about Gatsby that is talked by his guests. Interesting at this point is that most of his guests do not even know him and spread rumors about him all the same. That’s how he got his notoriety: “I‘ll bet he killed a man.” The good manners are reflected by gentlemen who always offer a helpful hand to charming ladies. F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with coining the phrase “The Jazz Age” in the title of his 1922 collection of short stories, Tales of the Jazz Age. He also became its effervescent chronicler in his early novels This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and the Damned (1922), along with another short story collection, Flappers and Philosophers (1920).  Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby was the quintessence of this period of his work, and evoked the romanticism and surface allure of his “Jazz Age”—years that began with the end of World War I, the advent of woman’s suffrage, and Prohibition, and collapsed with the Great Crash of 1929—years awash in bathtub gin and roars of generational rebellion. As Cole Porter wrote, “In olden days a glimpse of stocking/Was looked on as something shocking,/But now God knows,/Anything Goes.”

Answered on 09.08.2017.
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