„The Great Gatsby” is a novel full of symbolism. From the famous eyes of Dr TJ Ecklenburg to Daisy's white dresses, F Scott Fitzgerald has written meaning into every aspect of the book. Here you can read about Fitzgerald's development of the plot, his language and writing style, his use of imagery and settings, and the classification of „The Great Gatsby” into a genre.
Here we discuss the genre of „The Great Gatsby”.
The novel is a book of the “jazz age”, a name which Fitzgerald himself invented. It is also a genre which Fitzgerald was fundamental in creating, which would also be taken up and expanded by other authors, including Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner.
Full of a sense of freedom after the horrors of the First World War, many young people in the 1920s began to live more exciting lives. As Fitzgerald put it, people needed something to do “with all the nervous energy stored up and unexpended in the War.” Women wore shorter skirts as a sign of their liberation and lots of people went out dancing to jazz music and drinking heavily. This luxurious lifestyle is something that jazz age novels describe, although they also show the less glamorous underside of the era, dealing with problems like alcoholism and mental illness.
Unfortunately, the jazz age didn't last, as the Wall Street Crash of 1929 plunged America into a deep economic depression, putting an end to luxurious parties. Fitzgerald himself said that the jazz age “leaped to a spectacular death in October 1929.