Untitled Essay Research Paper The Roaring Twenties

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Untitled Essay, Research Paper The Roaring Twenties was a time of parties and illegal practices; it was a time of change. This change affected society as a whole- both how the people viewed their lives as well as the way they viewed the importance of morality. Before the Roaring Twenties the American people were very traditional in their values. Their values included simple things such as being true to your spouse, raising your family with love and attention and earning an honest living. In the twenties, however, these traditional values seemed to be devalued. This was the time when things such as the bootlegging business became very popular. The Great Gatsby helped to portray the moral degradation happening throughout the time in which it takes place. The Great Gatsby

exposes the moral decadence of the Roaring Twenties through its three main characters, Gatsby, Daisy and Tom. “The parties were bigger?the pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser?” (Rayburn) During the twenties, peoples morals seemed to be a lot looser than they had been previous to that decade. The work week went from being a sixty hour week to being a forty-eight hour week giving people more free time to do what they wanted. Many people began to party and drink more, as these things brought everyone together. The social world experienced a lot of change during this era. Girls and young women started wearing more make-up and shorter skirts which only a few years before had been worn only by women of ill repute. As Rayburn

points out, “Dresses were loose and skimpy; swimsuits were tight and skimpy?the result of both changing morality and an explosion in new industrially fabricated synthetic materials?” Another indicator of this change in morality was that sex became more common as well as more discussed. Rayburn notices that “?youth freely discussed sex?if not always so freely performed it.” Illegal businesses like bootlegging became more popular. “Breaking the law was the rule, not the exception?” (Rayburn, 3) As a whole, the twenties was a looser period in which people seemed to have lower morals. Many people began to expose themselves more, and got involved in more illegal actions. Daisy, a woman of low morals, is one of the most superficial characters in the book. As Gatsby says to

Nick ” Her voice is full of money” (pg. 127). Daisy is a prime example of the affect of moral decadence. The decisions that she makes on her own, which are few, are for the most part based in one way or on money. For example, she falls in love with Gatsby but when he proposes to her, she feels that she has to turn him down because he does not have the money she desires. And when Tom comes along and desires her hand in marriage and his proposal is accompanied by a three hundred thousand dollar necklace she can’t turn him down: she is in love with his money. “Daisy is a very material person. She needs to have money. She was very much in love with Gatsby, but because he wasn’t wealthy, she married someone who was. Daisy focuses on the outward rather than the inward.”

(Dilling) Ross David Kulberg, creator of the Great Gatsby Guide agrees with these statements saying, “She focuses on outside appearances instead of what’s inside because material possessions are most important to her.” She may love Tom as she did Gatsby but when she finds that Gatsby has money she runs to him, not concerned at all that she might be committing adultery or hurting one that she “loves”. Daisy is not able to fend for herself nor take responsibility for her actions. One prime example of this is when she hits Myrtle in Gatsby’s car and doesn’t face up to it. She decides not to tell anyone when it is her moral duty to inform George and/or the police of her actions. In the end Gatsby gets killed because Daisy neglected to tell anyone who actually killed