The Great Gatsby "Study Question"
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This chapter begins with Nick's description of Gatsby's Saturday night parties: they have become legendary in New York for their opulence and hedonism. These parties are obscenely lavish. The guests marvel at Gatsby's Rolls-Royce, his enormous swimming pool, the live musicians he engages weekly, the sumptuous food that he provides for hundreds of people, and, perhaps most importantly, the unlimited liquor he generously supplies. Nick is eventually invited to one of these parties, but not by Gatsby himself; instead, Gatsby's chauffeur brings an invitation to Nick's door.
Fitzgerald gives great attention to the details of contemporary society: Gatsby's party is both a description and parody of Jazz Age decadence. It exemplifies the spirit of conspicuous consumption, and is a queer mix of the lewd and the respectable. Though catered to by butlers and serenaded by professionally trained singers, the guests are drunk, crude, and boisterous. The orchestra plays a work by Tostoff called The Jazz History of the World; though it had had a fantastic reception at Carnegie Hall, the piece is the antithesis of classical respectability.