The Great Gatsby
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The novel is a famous description of the "Jazz Age," a phrase which Fitzgerald himself coined. After the shock of moving from a policy of isolationism to involvement in World War I, America prospered in what are termed the "Roaring Twenties." The Eighteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, passed in 1919, prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol in America. "Prohibition" made millionaires out of bootleggers like Gatsby and owners of underground salons, called "speakeasies." Fitzgerald glamorizes the noveau riche of this period to a certain extent in his Jazz Age novel. He describes their beautiful clothing and lavish parties with great attention to detail and wonderful use of color. However, the author was uncomfortable with the excesses of the period, and his novel sounds many warning notes against excessive love of money and material success.