Throughout periods of literature, Modernism has revolted against former social standards and subject matter that is both prohibited and restricted in conversation and literature alike. The early 1900s were a time when writers were determining for themselves what they deemed to be important and writers began focusing on the individual rather than the conformity of society. For the first time people began to have their own hopes and dreams that were unique to the individual and America found it compelling. The early 1900s were a time when authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald began to expose misconceptions that people had about the purpose of their lives. Two novels by Fitzgerald that demonstrate the essence of modernism are The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise. The Great Gatsby takes the American Dream and twists love, crime, and passion into one man's attempt in reaching his dream.
[...] Fitzgerald uses modernism to promote new ideas and incorporate them into everyday life. The characters Fitzgerald created are not perfect and can be flawed in ways that readers never thought possible. Most people would not want to think outside what is socially acceptable because of the risk of their own reputations, but Fitzgerald has paved the way for future authors by revolting against society's established traditions. The characters in the novels are trapped by social confinement and continue to reveal lives that may seem meager, but truly are more than they would ever publicly admit to. [...]
[...] The three primary elements that influence Amory on his road to self-realization are convention, women, and money. As each of the three fails Amory, he comes closer to achieving his goal. Amory experiences a deep self-realization and comes to see his own selfishness after having discarded or lost convention, love, and money. In the final line of the novel Amory claims that now he knows himself, "but that is The last line represents a view that perhaps Fitzgerald himself shares about the difficulties of self-realization. [...]
[...] The novel contains elements of modernism that is represented through the important individual experiences that the characters encounter, and revolts against the established social norms that America was encompassing during the time in which Fitzgerald's novels were written. A great deal of the material Fitzgerald employed to write “This Side of Paradise” came from his own experiences up to the time Fitzgerald was writing the novel. The main character, Amory Blaine, is in many ways a thinly veiled Fitzgerald. This semi-autobiographical literary technique is one that Fitzgerald employed often throughout his career, and for which he often met strong criticism. [...]
[...] Fitzgerald seems to be stating that wealth is not the key to happiness, it is self-reliance and the importance of taking care of one's self that truly matters in life. Again Fitzgerald enforces the importance of individualism as a means of reaching personal dreams; a trait that was evident in modern literature from the early parts of the 1900s. The dark themes in modernist literature seem natural when we consider that social discontent was growing and social norms were being broken down. [...]
[...] By 1925, Fitzgerald was known primarily as the historian of the Jazz Age and chronicler in slick American weeklies and monthlies of the American Flapper. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music is evident throughout Great Gatsby” as well as the life that Fitzgerald lived. (Severn) There was nothing new about first-person narration in the 1920's. First- person narration had a long history in the English novel dating back to the mid-18th century. In America, two distinguished first-person narratives, Herman Melville's “Moby-Dick” and Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry preceded Great Gatsby,” as did scores of first- person narratives by Edgar Allan Poe. [...]
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