Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade July 2001

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Nineteen Century twenty¡¯s If you have read ¡°the Great Gatsby¡±, do you think the small town that characters lived in is an epitome of the society at that time? It can help us to know something about that history after the first war. So I want to talk something about the society and people in nineteen century twenty¡¯s.

First of all, the status of men¡¯s and women¡¯s were not equal in nineteen century twenty¡¯s. This was the base of the relationship between persons. The status of men¡¯s was much higher than women¡¯s. Men decided everything everywhere, every time. After marrying, woman¡¯s status was decided by her husband but not herself or her family. Even a girl was born in a very high status family. If she married to a poor, low status guy, she would lose everything except love. So the family background was the most important thing. If you had one million dollars, maybe you could not get high status.

If you had a good family background, everything was ok. You were a real gentleman and could get everything. Woman had no power in the family, just like the subsidiary of her husband¡¯s. So women had to accept many pains and they could not defend or resist. Some women knew it was unfair. They began to try women¡¯s independence and equal status. But their action was not been agreed at that time. So their try did not have some use. The relationship between man and women had not changed in many years. Why the status of women¡¯s was lower than man¡¯s? I think the main reason of this phenomenon is economy. At that time, most of women did not have profession. The family depended on men. If man failed, the family failed. So the difference in economy was the source of the different status.

After the first war, the world was going to peace. People need not worry the safety of their life. The center of the world moved from war to economy. Economy and business began to revive from the war¡¯s strike. People wanted to get more money and face, honour and comfort life. They tried their best to work for money. So economy was developing very fast. Prosperous bond is one of the representations of economy¡¯s development.

Bond is the certificate of debt. When government or companies want to collect money from society, they will sell bonds. Bond began from the end seventeen century, in Holland. In America, government had sold many kinds of bonds to support the big cost of the war. After nineteen century, government and companies need much money to support their development. So they sold more and more bonds to collect money. The market of bonds became big and standard. Bond is safer than stock certificate and it can bring some income for buyer. So many people were doing bonds business at that time. They thought bond could feed them.

Many people worked for gaining money because money could buy many things, big house, beautiful car, many servants and love? No I do not think so. True love cannot be bought by money. Love depended on many different factors. And the factors are different in different period.

In middle century, everyone respected hero. Hero meant brave and courage. Girls hoped romantic circumstance and a real hero. So flower, clapping and a handsome knight were perfect combination. These were enough to get girl¡¯s heart. In nineteen twenty¡¯s, money became more and more important. Many people want decadent life to eliminate the nervous from the war. There were many golden and snob girl. High status plus much money were the key for their heart. Just like Daisy. Five years ago, Daisy liked Gatsby very much, but she married Tom for high status and money. When Gatsby became rich, Daisy felt regret. After the car accident, Daisy dared not to say the truth because she was afraid to lose the comfort life. Even Gatsby loved her very much and paid life for her. We can see many girls do not know what is true love. They only want comfort life. Today people think more than before when they face to love. Both spirit and matter are necessary. Romantic and money are same important for girls. Guys always say if I can become old with you, it is the best romantic thing in my life. But grate love also need money support.

In fact many people believed that money could buy love and happiness, just like Tom and Gatsby at that time. Tom represented the nobleman who inherited from generation to generation. They had power from born. So most of them were proud and snobbish. Gatsby represented burgeoning wealth. They believed money was everything. Both of them were self-central. Tom looked everybody down. He had a girlfriend in New York. He introduced her to Nick and he knew Nick is Daisy¡¯s cousin. Tom did not respect Daisy because he was powerful. Gatsby always dreamed to get Daisy back by his wealth. He thought money was equal love and happiness. He paid life for his dream. But he was wrong. Daisy was a golden girl. She wanted high status and comfort life buy not true love. So Tom was little more luckily than Gatsby. These reflected a kind of thought at nineteen century twenty¡¯s. Men could have special power if they were special status. Class concept was very serious. Only few people believed everyone should be equal. But it was useless. Society gave them special power. Many guys got money from dark ways and they became rich very soon. But they had bad spirit. Their lives were decadent. Crime was everywhere. During this course, nobleman got benefit and poor guy lost everything. A few people monopolized a great deal of wealth. Capital centralizes made the high speed of development. In this society, people had much more chances than before. So many people went to America for their ¡°American Dream¡±. They believed everything could happen in America just like Gatsby could happen. They want to be nobleman, though they always hated them before. Just like the old period of China, many poor people hate the emperor, but being emperor was their final dream.

The society of nineteen century twenty¡¯s was dark, decadent, unstable but full of chances. It gave guys enough space to show themselves and achieved their dream. Hero always appeared in unstable society. So many people loved the unstable society. People hoped to change themselves. They wanted to be rich in one night. The dream was the power of their life, is the symbol of the period and society.