Read about the setting of “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald. This section includes an analysis of the political setting and geographical setting of “The Great Gatsby”.

„The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald is very much a novel of its time, set in the 1920s during a period of huge social and political change. It is also deeply concerned with its geographical setting in and around New York, a rapidly modernizing city and one which came to define the values Fitzgerald associated with the Jazz era.

In what follows, we will focus on two important elements of setting in “The Great Gatsby”:

  • Time and politics
  • Place

Time and politics

Set in 1922 during the glamorous Jazz Age (a term invented by Fitzgerald), „The Great Gatsby” is full of descriptions of the lifestyle of the wealthy during that era. It was a time of huge social change; society was shifting after the upheaval of World War I, and the traditional hierarchy of the aristocracy, the middle classes and the working class were changing.



The places in the novel are tied closely to the wealth and social status of the characters. Gatsby's mansion, for example, demonstrates much about the central character and how the others see him. Early on in the book, Nick describes it as a “colossal affair by any standard ...


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