What was the American Dream in the 1920s in “The Great Gatsby”

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The Great Gatsby movie is almost a mirrored image of the Roaring Twenties. This movie is about a young man named Nick Carraway who meets his neighbor, Gatsby, who throws the most extravagant parties and who is a millionaire. Later we find out that Gatsby throws these types of parties to impress his old love Daisy, who is married to Tom. Gatsby and Daisy reconnect, which leads them to have an affair; after learning about this, Tom suspects that Gatsby is living a secret life.

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After researching Gatsby’s mysterious life, Daisy isolates herself from Gatsby. At the end of the movie George Wilson, an auto shop owner ends up killing Gatsby for the death of his wife. Gatsby then has a funeral, but no one’s there besides his friend Nick. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses various aspects of the roaring twenties culture, such as consumerism, entertainment, the role of women, and prohibition, to make this movie a perfect example of the 1920s.

American Dream in the 1920s

The movie takes place in the year 1922, which gives us a hit that plot is going to have things represented from that time period. Such as Mass production techniques developed during World War 1; the 1920s was the rise of interventions and products such as automobiles made by Henry Ford. The invention of the Model T was a major break for getting around town. The Model T car was not only used for people’s freedom but also as a help for the assembly line. “New products seemed to burst from American production lines with the potential of revolutionizing American life” ( “The Decade of Roar”). These new inventions led to people spending more money on entertainment.

The Roaring Twenties was the rise of the entertainment business. The start of motion pictures, commercial radio, phonograph records, and Broadway musicals.

In the movie, Gatsby had the newest cars, the biggest houses, and the fanciest clothes. He didn’t really need all this; Gatsby did this to impress the people around him.

Harlem Renaissance and Entertainment

The roaring twenties was a time for cultural celebration. A time when African Americans could celebrate all of the pain they experienced throughout several years. This led to the great migration of African Americans; They traveled from the South rural areas to the North urban areas instead of sitting around and reminiscing about their past experience. “ The African American culture was reborn of the Harlem Renaissance.” The Harlem Renaissance became a new wave of entertainment. Jazz music attracted millions of people, especially African Americans. “The artists of the Harlem Renaissance undoubtedly transformed African American culture” (“ Harlem Renaissance”). Jazz music was a part of the wild and carefree life for people living in the 1920s.

The American Dream, In the movie The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is disillusioned by his dreams of Daisy and wealthy status; this connects back with the Harlem Renaissance in the 20s because many African Americans migrated to the North in hopes of gaining money and power. 


In conclusion, “The Great Gatsby” serves as a captivating portrayal of the Roaring Twenties, encapsulating the essence of the era through its exploration of various themes. The movie adeptly showcases the allure of consumerism, as exemplified by Gatsby’s extravagant parties and material possessions, reflecting the societal emphasis on wealth and status during the 1920s. Additionally, it delves into the vibrant entertainment culture of the time, with the rise of jazz music and the Harlem Renaissance celebrating cultural expression and transformation.


  1. “The Great Gatsby.” Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Warner Bros., 2013.

  2. “The Decade of Roar: The 1920s.” American Experience, PBS, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/1920s-decade-roar/.

  3. “Harlem Renaissance.” History, A&E Television Networks, https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/harlem-renaissance.


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What Was the American Dream in the 1920s in “The Great Gatsby”. (2023, Aug 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-was-the-american-dream-in-the-1920s-in-the-great-gatsby/