The Cultural Revolution of the Roaring Twenties

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In the Roaring Twenties Jazz-Age flappers flouted Prohibition laws and the Harlem Renaissance redefined arts and culture.  The Roaring Twenties was time of cultural and political change. The Great Gatsby relates to this topic by showing different types of social classes during the 1920s. In 1920s New York was at the highest point for prohibition and organized crime, which represents Jay Gatsby because Gatsby threw parties that had lots of booze and nobody had any regard for the law. The overall topic is about how certain aspects revolutionized America and people in the 1920s. This novel, The Great Gatsby by, F. Scott Fitzgerald, explores the different aspects the led to the cultural revolution of the 1920s.

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The 1920s was a period with a distinctive cultural edge particularly in cities such as, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  New York was where the Great Gatsby took place, the  Great Gatsby connects to the topic by addressing the social classes which Gatsby represented because he was a newly rich person and he represented the american dream because he wanted to be rich just like everyone else did. The Roaring Twenties started heading for a major shift in the culture of the United States with invention like the radio, movies, and mass produced consumer goods, the 1920s became a time of mass culture. People from all over the country were doing the same thing. Nick Carraway says, ??There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired?? (Fitzgerald). This quote shows the different classes of people. The pursued being the rich people with old money because everyone’s dream was to be rich. The pursuing representing someone like Gatsby because he represented new money and wanted to be like someone who had old money like Tom or Dan Cody which both represented old money. The busy represented the middle class which represented Nick because he worked. The tired represented the lower class which represented the people that lived in the Valley Of Ashes.

The Harlem Renaissance was a big part of cultural revolution for African Americans in America, the Harlem Renaissance changed the way people looked at African Americans. ??The Harlem Renaissance was the development of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City as a black cultural mecca in the early 20th Century ?? ( Editors). This quote shows that the Harlem Renaissance was a big part of revolutionizing the african american culture. In The Great Gatsby, Nick and Gatsby passed a group of black people and admired them while they drove past . This shows black people were starting to be respected by others and Nick and Gatsby did not have a problem with black people (Fitzgerald 66). In the article The Harlem Renaissance, talks about how the Harlem Renaissance made jazz music popular and many people would spend their weekends going to jazz concerts. Jazz music helped revolutionize culture because it gave people another option to do something. ??Some white residents initially fought to keep African Americans out of the area, but failing that many whites eventually fled.??( Editors). This shows african americans were not accepted at first but eventually people began to accept them. It also shows how much culture changed for African Americans in the 1920s.

Harlem was meant to be an upper class white people neighborhood, overdevelopment led to empty building and desperate landlords looking to fill them. In the early 1900s middle class african americans began move to Harlem and eventually white people fled. In the article Harlem Rennaissance on the author editors, talks about the outside factors that led african americans taking over Harlem. Additionally, during and after WWI, immigration to the United States fell, and northern recruiters headed south to entice black workers to their companies. ( Editor). This shows black people were not treated fairly and they were treated as if they were the lower class. The article The Harlem Renaissance by editors, states that around three hundred thousand african americans moved from the south and went north because they were treated badly by the southeners. Harlem was the most popular place for african armericans to move to. Hutchinson states Harlem Renaissance, was a blossoming  of African American culture, particularly in the creative arts, and the most influential movement in African American literary history. The social foundations of this movement included the Great Migration of African Americans from rural to urban spaces and from South to North (Hutchinson). This shows black people moved because they were not treated fairly.

Jazz influenced people to spend their weekends differently. Jazz music was everywhere it was at parties, it was at concerts, it was just about every where in new york. The Harlem Renaissance was a phase of a larger New Negro movement that had emerged in the early 20th century(Hutchinson). This shows how much the Harlem Renaissance had an affect on african american culture.  The article Harlem Renaissance on states, many writers found their work appearing in mainstream magazines. People like Louis Armstrong really helped the developmen of jazz music which led to a major cultural change for african americans. This source relates to the topic by going over the rise of the african american. It goes over how the novelists changed the african american culture and how novelists like, McKay and Hughes, who made names for themselves by writing books. It talks about how muscians changed what people did with their free time. Harlems cotton club boosted young talents such as Duke Ellington and others.

In the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a story told from the viewpoint of Nick Carraway, a midwesterner who came to New York to live his dream. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald goes over the organized crime and the prohibition both had big affect on the cultural change in the 1920s. In the first chapter the main characters were introduced which were, Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, and Jordan Baker. In the second chapter Tom’s mistress was introduced, as Myrtle Wilson and they go to a small party in New York at their appartment, where Tom broke Myrtle’s Nose for saying Daisy’s name. In chapter three, Nick gets a party invitation from Gatsby and he was one of the only ones to get an invitation, Nick describes the party as an amusement park because a lot of the people that came were not invited. In chapter four Gatsby invites Nick to lunch, and tells Nick the story about his life. In chapter five Nick arranges tea between Daisy and Gatsby with Daisy thinking that Nick would be the only one there. In chapter six, Daisy and Tom go to one Gatsby’s parties, Daisy says she does not like the party and the only reason Gatsby had the parties was to hoping Daisy would come to one. In chapter seven, Nick, Tom, Daisy, Gatsby, and Jordan all went to New York, Tom accuses Daisy of cheating with Gatsby, they get in big fight and they all storm off and on the way home Daisy was driving and hit Myrtle. In chapter eight, Nick visits Gatsby and finds out about is true past and near the end of the chapter George kills Gatsby because he thought he killed Myrtle. In chapter nine Nick arranges Gatsby’s funeral and  only him and Gatsby’s father went. All this relates to my topic because it goes over the organzed crime and prohibiton which changed culture over time and was a big part on how people achieved their American Dream.

The Great Gatsby shows examples of how the culture from the 1920’s was different from other time periods. In 1920s New York was at the highest point for prohibiton and organized crime, which represents Jay Gatsby because Gatsby threw parties that had lots of booze and nobody had any regard for the law. Gatsby also hinted at being apart of an organized crime group when he introduced Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim who fixed the 1919 world series. The change in views isn’t a bad thing, for example, the women from the book experienced more political freedom. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald reveals that Meyer Wolfsheim was the man who fixed the world series in 1919. This shows how much organized crime groups controlled and shows how it changes the culture.

Prohibition was a big reason why organized crime started and changed the way people wanted to achieve their american dream. In article, ??Prohibiton?? from,  goes over Protestants, Progressives, and women all spearheaded the drive to institute Prohibition each of which had an affect on cultural revolution.  ??Though the advocates of prohibition had argued that banning sales of alcohol would reduce criminal activity, it in fact directly contributed to the rise of organized crime.??(KhanAcademy). Which shows people like Al Capone who was mentioned in the article was a big part of the organized crime. In The Great Gatsby, Meyer Wolfsheim And Jay Gatsby were a part of organized crime. Jay Gatsby had a chain of pharmacies and sold alcohol from them which was illegal durin that time. Meyer Wolfsheim was a gambler and fixed the world series which was also considered illegal. In the article, ??Prohibition: Unintended consequences??, goes over the consequence of getting caught sell alcohol and the economics of prohibition. Prohibition was a start up for organized crime groups and led to a lot of illegal activities.

The effects of Prohibition on law enforcement were also negative, many law enforcements like police officers and prohibition officers were often tempted to join bootlegging  with bribes. In The Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald, Gatsby and Nick were driving and they were pulled over and all Gatsby had to so was show the police officer a white card. This shows that police officers were often corrupted by bribes and threats towards them or their families. In this quote from the article, ??Prohibition: Unintended consequences??, ??The growth of the illegal liquor trade under Prohibition made criminals of millions of Americans?? ( This shows that a lot of people were involved in organized crime and a lot of people achived their american dream by doing this which had a big part on the cultural revolution. At the end of The Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald, the showed the consequences for Gtasby being a part of an organized crime group, by reporters and others spreading rumors about him being a bootlegger and basically ruined his name. In the article ??Prohibition?? from goes over how many American citizens stockpiled personal reserves of beer, wine, and liquor before the ban took effect. As more people were getting caught selling and distributing illegal alcohol jails and courtrooms overflowed, and the legal system failed to keep up.

The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverage and women had a big part of this. Many people thought alcohol was family destroyer and was a big reason why women wanted to ban the alcohol. The ban of alcohol changed the culture because many people fell into organized crime and a lot of organized crime was selling alcohol. Prohibition was the 18th admendment which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, for state ratification. In the articleProhibition, from, it goes over how women played a big role in the temperance movement. This changed how people viewed women in the roaring twenties. Prohibition turned law-abiding citizens into criminals, made a mockery of the justice system( This shows how much prohibition affected the culture, it turned good citizen into criminal in organized crime organizations.

In the 1920s, radio and cinema contributed to the development of a national media culture in the United States.In the 1920s was the rise of Hollywood and the entertainment industries. In the articleMovies, radio, and sports in the 1920s by, goes over  new wealth and fueled technological innovations, resulting in the booming popularity of entertainments like movies, sports, and radio program this relates to the topic by showing how each affected the culture( For a quarter, Americans could escape from their problems and lose themselves in another era or world. (Movies, radio, and sports in the 1920s). This shows that movies gae people something to do other than staying home and not do anthing. People all ages could go to the movies for a cheap price and many people did go and enjoy themselves at the movies.

Hollywood was a popular place for people looking to be famous and Hollywood was also known for the film industries located there. Hollywood is a neighborhood located in Los Angeles, California, that’s also known for its glamour, money and power of the entertainment industry. Southern California in the 1920s, however, had only recently become the center of the American film industry (movies,radio, and sports in the 1920s). This shows many people traveled to become famous which was also a popular american dream. The first film directed in hollywood was in the early 1900s. Hollywood and the entertainment buisness changed culture by giving people another way to achieve their American dream.

Radios in the 1920s was popular invention which led people to stay at home more and listen to sports games over the radio. says, The power of radio further accelerated the process of creating a shared national culture that had started when railroads and telegraphs widened the distribution of newspapers.(KhanAcademy). This shows radio had a major impact on cultural revolution because it brung people together because everyone was listening to the radio and the radio gave people something to talk about with other people. Radio created and pumped out American culture onto the airwaves and into the homes of families around the country.

Radios helped popularize sports like baseball, basketball, horse racing, golf, tennis, boxing, and football. Baseball was the most popular out of the following, more people went to baseball games, more people followed baseball, and more people played baseball for fun than any other sport. The most famous athlete was Babe Ruth also known as George Herman which was his legal name and he was mostly known as Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth became America’s first baseball hero(   In the article, Movies, radio, and sports in the 1920s it says Jim Thorpe,was known as one of the best athletes in the world: He medaled in the 1912 Olympic Games, played Major League Baseball, and was one of the founding members of the National Football League.  In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, reveals that gambling on sports was a part of organized crime and also said that Meyer Wolfsheim fixed the 1919 world series and shows that gambling on sports was a part of organized crime. This shows that gambling was a part of organized crime and

Flappers from the 1920s were young women known for their energetic freedom, embracing a lifestyle viewed by many at the time as outrageous, immoral or dangerous. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Daisy and Jordan represent Flappers because they were not controlled and both them had a lot of political freedom. Jordan represented a flspper more than Daisy because Jordan was independent and did everything for herself. Daisy and Jordan both had short hair which was major quality for all flappers.  They represented flapppers by the way they dressed, flappers wore fashionable flapper dresses of shorter, calf-revealing lengths and lower necklines(The Great Garsby). In the article Flappers from, says that Flappers wore high heel shoes and threw away their corsets in favor of bras and lingerie. The classic look for a flapper was a young stylish party girl. Flappers smoked in public, drank alcohol, danced at jazz clubs and practiced a sexual freedom ( This  relates to the topic because it goes over how Flappers revolutionized culture for all women because they showed that they coul;d take care of themselves, had political freedom and were not controlled family or friends. In the article Flappers says, Flappers were famous??”or infamous, depending on your viewpoint??”for their rakish attire ( This shows that flappers changed the way people viewed women and gave them more freedom to do what they want. Flappers relate the the topic because they revolutionized culture for all women.   

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The Cultural Revolution Of The Roaring Twenties. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved February 4, 2023 , from

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