The Jazz Age: Hear It Roar

2111 words - 8 pages

There were many important events that have occurred during the history of our country. Some have been filled with turmoil, while others have shown prosperity. Examples of turmoil are World War I and World War II. The Jazz Age did not let the bad times affect them. They are many ways that this time period is considered great. The Jazz Age was the greatest era in American history because of the characteristics and the economic prosperity that defined the 1920s as well as the styles and behaviors of the people who lived during this time, as seen through the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby.
Though there were many aspects that made up the 1920s culture, one of the most important was the music. Jazz was the major form of music that was starting to make its way through the seams. This style of music had been around for many years, starting in New Orleans. According the book Popular Culture: 1929-1929, Jane Bingham states that a group of talented African Americans started this type of music, and their inspiration came from songs their ancestors used to play while they were working on cotton plantations (Bingham 8). Jazz was originally played in underground speakeasies and nightclubs. However, it was none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald that jump-started this musical journey through his novel, The Great Gatsby. In the Encyclopedia of Jazz, James Ciment writes that Jazz was the musical anthem for the carefree, modern spirit of these times (Ciment 307). With Jazz being so upbeat, fast paced, and rhythmic, it led to the rebellion of many young men and women. For instance, in the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays Gatsby’s parties as being jammed packed full of people dancing to jazz music and having the time of their lives (Fitzgerald 43). Since jazz music made such an impact on peoples’ lives, it was given the title “The Jazz Age.” Just as this genre of music played a major role during this time, so did a new style of fashion and behaviors emerge for women.
Rebellious is one way women of the 1920s can be described. During this time, women were being granted new freedoms. Betinna Miller, the author of In From Flappers to Flivvers--: We Helped Make the ‘20s Roar!, writes that women were deemed the right to vote as well as freedom from second class citizenship. This led to the changes in women’s behaviors (Miller 10). Such behaviors can be seen through their style. Women were beginning to replace their long luscious locks with a short cut, and a curly bob. This left grandparents, husbands, and society shocked. However, bobs were not the only scandalous act that left people shocked. “Worse still, women began showing their hemlines soared up, up, and up… nearly to the knee” (Miller 10). That is right. Women ditched their ankle-bearing dresses and started showing more and more skin. Other rebellious activity that was unknown for women during the Roarin’ 20s was cigarette smoking, slanged language, rolled stockings, and unbuckled...

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