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SCOTT FITZGERALD AND THE JAZZ AGE

JINAN ABDULLA SHAFIQ

journal of the college of basic education مجلة كلية التربية الاساسية
ISSN: 18157467(print) 27068536(online) Year: 2010 Volume: 15 Issue: 63 Pages: 77-80
Publisher: Al-Mustansyriah University الجامعة المستنصرية

Abstract

Jazz Age is a name given to an age in America in the early 20th century. This age is characterized by improvisation and strong rhythms of popular music which was first played by Negro groups southern U.S.A.
Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed and empty pursuit of pleasure.
The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild Jazz music resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals.
Fitzgerald's methods of narration illustrate the importance of form. In most of his novels like The side of paradise, he introduces the theme of the search for paradise which characterized all of Fitzgerald's works. The rejection of old standards appeared forcibly in The Beautiful and Damned, and finally the decline of the dream appeared in The Great Gatsby.
The paper tries to show how does Scott Fitzgerald through his own personal behaviors not through the protagonists of his major novels reflect the material spirit of the jazz Age and the bewilderment of the lost generation between the first and the second world wars including Fitzgerald himself. The major characters of those novels are allegorical manifestations of the novelist himself in relation to his age.
America, emerging victorious from the "war to end all wars", was in a period of severe growing pains from 1919 to 1929. Her industries were booming; prosperity had reached an all-time high. Yet the idealism which had surrounded World War I and the belief in the Horatio Alger success story began to wane.
The era began with a feeling of relief from old bonds, heightened into orgiastic revelry in new-found freedom, soured into boredom, and finally collapsed with the stock market crash. At the end of World War I the American people were eager to enjoy themselves and forget about the rest of the world.