The Great Gatsby



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The Great Gatsby


Background Information: The Roaring Twenties

When World War I ended in 1918, disillusionment spread among the generation that had gone to war. They became known as the Lost Generation. America entered a decade of wild behavior and materialism that has come to be called the Roaring Twenties. This period is also known as the Jazz Age. Jazz, a new form of music from New Orleans, broke the established norms of music through unrestrained improvisations. The music mirrored the values of the Lost Generation, who rebelled against the norms of conventional behavior. Among these were the rules of behavior for women. Many women took over men’s roles and jobs when the male population went off to war. Now these women, having tasted new freedoms and lifestyles, claimed the right to vote and to enter the job market. They cut their hair in to a short, boyish style called the Bob, and they donned shorter skirts with a hip-level waist, the style of the fashionable flapper.
Another rule that was broken with regularity was the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition), which prohibited the sale of intoxicating beverages. This amendment was enacted in 1920 and repealed in 1933. Speakeasies, which sold the forbidden beverages, cropped up everywhere.
Fortunes were made in honest and dishonest ways. Without government regulation, the stock market flourished. Gangsters made a great deal of money as bootleggers, bringing liquor into the United States from other countries. Illegal gambling was another popular criminal activity as exemplified by the Black Sox Scandal of 1919, in which members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team were allegedly bribed to throw the World Series. With the stock market crash in 1929, the era of the Roaring Twenties came to an abrupt end.

The Great Gatsby


Background Information: The Roaring Twenties

When World War I ended in 1918, disillusionment spread among the generation that had gone to war. They became known as the Lost Generation. America entered a decade of wild behavior and materialism that has come to be called the Roaring Twenties. This period is also known as the Jazz Age. Jazz, a new form of music from New Orleans, broke the established norms of music through unrestrained improvisations. The music mirrored the values of the Lost Generation, who rebelled against the norms of conventional behavior. Among these were the rules of behavior for women. Many women took over men’s roles and jobs when the male population went off to war. Now these women, having tasted new freedoms and lifestyles, claimed the right to vote and to enter the job market. They cut their hair in to a short, boyish style called the Bob, and they donned shorter skirts with a hip-level waist, the style of the fashionable flapper.
Another rule that was broken with regularity was the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition), which prohibited the sale of intoxicating beverages. This amendment was enacted in 1920 and repealed in 1933. Speakeasies, which sold the forbidden beverages, cropped up everywhere.
Fortunes were made in honest and dishonest ways. Without government regulation, the stock market flourished. Gangsters made a great deal of money as bootleggers, bringing liquor into the United States from other countries. Illegal gambling was another popular criminal activity as exemplified by the Black Sox Scandal of 1919, in which members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team were allegedly bribed to throw the World Series. With the stock market crash in 1929, the era of the Roaring Twenties came to an abrupt end.


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