The Great Gatsby

Modernism and The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has been hailed as one of the greatest literary works of Modernism. The Great Gatsby set the tone for the movement that defined American literature in the early decades well into the present day. The characters of The Great Gatsby are a direct reflection of the “lost generation” to which Fitzgerald belonged. In many ways, his characters could be seen as a portrait of the people he associated with, if not somewhat of a self-portrait. Through his individual characters, their personalities, and their crises, Fitzgerald presents a detailed display of Modernism in his classic novel.

At the launch of World War I, Americans felt the impact of men going off to battle and women working in factories; lifestyles were beginning to divert from family traditions. People were forced to abandon their traditional values and adapt to the challenges and changes around them, giving birth to Modernism. Modernism does not have one specific definition, but an array of definitions and interpretations. Simply put, Modernism is “an omnibus term for a number of tendencies in the arts which were prominent in the first half of the 20th century” (Drabble 658). According to Hugh Holman, Modernism is “a strong and...

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