Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mafia vs. Gangsters

During the time of Prohibition the Mafia/Gangsters were becoming more powerful than ever. People during this time weren’t making much money and so they found a way to earn it by selling alcohol illegally. These people were known as "bootleggers" because they smuggled liquor in their boots. In order to have places to drink, they made illegal underground bars that they called "speakeasies". In order to get into these bars they had to whisper a secret password. In the bars there were women selling themselves (a.k.a. prostitutions) and also gambling. Because the law of prohibition, gangsters profited a lot from these bars.

This time era was a time of corruption. There was a lot of violence in the 1920’s and much of this violence came from gangsters. Al Capone was one of the most famous gangsters. His actual name was Alphonse Capone. He and his family were immigrants from Italy. As a family, they didn’t have much money. After the 6th grade, he quit school. People also referred to him as Al, Scarface.

The 1920’s were filled with violence. The gangsters during this time killed anyone and everyone, even innocent people. Often times they would try to bootleg in people’s stores, and if they would not cooperate, the gangsters would kill them. This was a dramatic time for the people of the 1920’s and luckily they eventually got out of it.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


Flapper: A young woman, esp. one who, during the 1920's, behaved and dressed in a boldly unconventional manner Most of the women in The Great Gatsby are flappers because this was during the time of the Roaring Twenties. Women like Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle all dressed themselves with short dresses or skirts, pearls, bobbed hair cut, and a ton of make-up.

Not only did these women dress a certain way, but they also had a change in attitude. They began listening to Jazz music, drinking, smoking, and looking at sex as a casual thing. They felt like they could be free because they were so 'locked-up' in the century before. Their new rights made them experiment in what may have not been the best ways.

The behavior of flappers in the 1920's was looked at as redefined women's roles. During this time they didn't follow the women's traditional societal roles; instead they did whatever they pleased. They also were trying to get the government to pass women's rights and voting as well.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920's. During the 1920's the law of prohibition had been passed. Many people rebelled from it and would not obey this law. People sold alcohol illegally and would pass it around at big parties."Many people became involved in an underground movement to sell and distribute alcoholic beverages." Another 'problem' was women turning into flappers. These are the reasons why the 1920's were called "The Roaring 20's" because of the fact that everyone began to rebel and do whatever they pleased.

Jay Gatsby was a big part of this problem. He was a bootlegger. Through this illegal operation, Gatsby was able to make a lot of money and become a part of the "new money." He was a smuggler and a consumer of alcohol in the 1920's.

Flappers were the women's style of the 1920's. These fashions contained bobbed hair, thin, knee length dresses, pearls, etc.) Women like Daisy, Jordan, Myrtle, and most of the women in this book followed this fashion because they were a part of the people that were rebelling against the laws that they believed were unjust.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Green Light

The green light is a symbol of all of Gatsby's wants and longings. It's one of the most important symbols in the book. It shows his closeness to his dreams. It's located at the end of Buchanan's dock (Daisy's dock). It's a green light that is always far away. Everyone's able to see this light even though it seems so distant from them.

The light symbolizes different things for different characters in the book. To Gatsby it represents his future, but to people like Tom it means nothing. The green light is seen over and over again during the book. "Green is the color of hope and it first appears when Gatsby stares across the bay towards a green light at the end of a dock (21, 8ff.)."

The green light is a big deal for Gatsby. He sees it as a representation of his future with Daisy and all the things he hopes for in the future. He looks at Daisy as if she's a dream that he will never reach. Although, later in the book he sees that Daisy is a posibility in his future. No matter what happens, Gatsby is forever in love with her. Gatsby often looks at this light and just thinks about his future, but forgets about the present.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Women of Gatsby

Just like the men, there are many women of Gatsby who are exactly like the women of today. They act as the women are supposed to act during the time period of WWI. Women treated marriage like it was nothing. They had affairs just as often as the men. They believed they could act just as the men did, whether it was right or wrong. Many of their actions apparently weren't thought through before done.

During this time period, women had more freedom than they ever had in the past. They were considered to be very "free-spirited". They would take advantage of this because they felt free. Most of the women of the 1920's became flappers(which i'll later explain in another post).

Two of the women in The Great Gatsby are very similar to each other. Daisy and Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, both of Tom's women. Daisy is careless, superficial, and shallow. Myrtle is also superficial, but she is always looking for ways to better herself and her living circumstances. Both of these women deal with Tom's abusive personality and the way he treats them. They also both believe that money is the best thing in the world. Neither of them are ever satisfied with their lives, and are confused by love.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Men of Gatsby

Many of the men of Gatsby are JUST like the men of today. Although in the book the men play their gender roll during the time period of WWI. The way men treat women in this book is based on their class. "Gender roles are in part decided by societal roles, as Tom’s upper class masculinity (strength, intimidation, virility) is contrasted with Wilson’s lower class version (hard working nature, naiveté)."

Men are abusive in this time, which is seen as a masculine right. Tom is abusive because he is controlling of both his wife Daisy and his mistress Myrtle. Unlike Tom, Gatsby treats Daisy as if "she is the most precious jewel in the world." Tom is considered to be 'the guy you don't want to be.' Whereas Gatsby is 'the guy everyone should want to be.' For the most part, Nick is the more quiet, reserved man. In love situations: Tom is controlling, Gatsby would die for the one he loves, and Nick is able to walk away from a woman who is not good for him.

Many people are quick to judge the men in The Great Gatsby because of the way they act and treat women. But, they did this because they were living up to society's expectations; "to be in charge and in control and to take care of women."


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American author who wrote novels and short stories. Most of his writings are of the Jazz Age. The Great Gatsby was written while he was in France with his wife and daughter. It was first published on April 10, 1925. He made this book to have "Gatsby stands for a deeper malaise in the culture---a sickness that drives young men to think that riches can obliterate the past and capture the hearts of the girls of their dreams." He wanted to portray the theme of the american dream.

Scott lived from September 24, 1896 to December 21. 1940. He was considered a legacy to many. His work and legend has enlightened writers ever since his first publication. Scott was happily married to Zelda Fitzgerald in New York's St. Patricks Cathedral. Together, they had one child who they named Frances Scott Fitzgerald on October 26, 1921.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Old vs. New Money

Along with East Egg and West Egg comes the idea of money and the relation people have to it. F. Scott Fitzgerald compares people who have earned their money and people who have been given their money: using the words, "old money" and "new money." Old money, are the people in East Egg (Tom and Daisy). Being that they have been wealthy for several generations puts them in this category. Unlike old money, new money are the people who have just began earning money (Gatsby). Though they both are wealthy, one has always had money, where as the other is new at earning money. Old money looks down on new money because they feel vulnerable. They feel as if they are more classy and spend their money in better ways, which in my opinion isn't necissarily false. East Egg shows off their money through parties, glamour, and fashion. This can easily be compared to our world and different cities of today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

East Egg vs. West Egg

Two major settings of this book are East Egg and West Egg. They are both completely different from eachother, but also have some similarities. "East Egg and West Egg are the peninsulas of Long Island and where the main characters live." The West Egg is where Nick and Gatsby both live, it's considered the "less fashionable" side of Long Island. (p.5) They are the ones who have worked hard and earned their money in a short period of time. The East Egg consideres them to be lazy and not as hard-working as them. The East Egg is the more rich part of this city. It's for the people who have always had money, "old money." Although these eggs are both very different. They are both filled with people who envy, love money, and try and find not the best ways to shape their lives.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One of the themes in The Great Gatsby is jealousy. Ever since the world started, money has caused problems increasing people envy towards each other. Money causes people to be jealous, envious, and greedy. People will try so hard to achieve a goal that they've seen someone else achieve, and then in the end be left in misery. Daisy and Tom don't have a good marriage; leaving Daisy in misery. She is jealous of Myrtle, who Tom is seeing as his mistress. Jealousy is never something to be proud of, and causes many self problems and just problems in general.