Literature in the 1920's

By: Ela Kusmierz


The literary arts soared to new heights in the 1920’s. The overly formal style associated with Victorianism was replaced with a more direct, democratic approach. Disillusionment following World War 1 caused some writers to focus on the horror and futility of war. Other common themes in literature during the 1920's included the human capacity to seek pleasure and happiness, need for self-definition, and the changing role of women in our society.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the most renowned authors of the 20th century. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 24, 1896. He wrote four books over the span of the 1920's, including famous works such as, “This Side of Paradise” “Flappers and Philosophers” “The Beautiful and the Damned” and his most famous, “The Great Gatsby.” The publication of This Side of Paradise on March 20, 1920, made Fitzgerald famous almost overnight. After that book, he wrote many more, such as The Great Gatsby, which didn’t receive the warm reception he was expecting. However, the book gained massive fame after Fitzgerald died, spreading around the world and into the classrooms of millions of children everywhere.
The Great Gatsby Chapter 1

The Great Gatsby

On April 10, 1925, Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, whose sales were disappointing. Yet it later became one of the most well-known books throughout the world and is still considered one of the greatest American novels ever to be written. Fitzgerald was likely inspired by the events that were currently happening at that time, like the brutal double murder of lovers Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills. The case went on to become a media spectacle with theatrical witnesses, and everyone in America seemed to have a theory. The underlying themes in both stories make it clear that they were related. The main story follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire: to be reunited with his love he lost five years earlier, Daisy Buchanan. His quest leads him from poverty into wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death. It is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for Fitzgerald’s remarkable way of capturing a cross-section of American

How Does He Reflect the 1920's?

Through the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald exposed the excesses of the 1920’s a prosperous age in which many Americans came to enjoy the blessings of consumerism and excess, only to see it all crash around them with the Great Depression that arrived in 1929. Fitzgerald reflects this era because of his newfound fame as an author, and then his downfall into alcoholism.
Hit Songs From the Roaring 1920's

His Impact On America

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability is to hold two opposed ideas in the mind, and still have the ability to act.” This was just one of the many genius quotes that Fitzgerald came up with. He definitely impacted life in America through his writing. By the 1920’s, many people believed that gaining material things that were desired could bring happiness. Fitzgerald wrote about the lives of people who lived as if that were true. His two opposing ideas involved seeking fulfillment from material things and knowing that material things caused unhappiness. He was able to experience the wild living of the period, yet write about its effect on people as if he were just an observer.