Modernism was a literary movement in the 19th century that challenged the traditional way of presenting art and all other aspects of social life, modernism also claimed that the traditional life was outdated and needed reforms and it described both a set of cultural tendencies and many associated cultural movements. Modernism was a contradiction against the conservative values of realism It argued that unlike traditional social system, the modern culture was permanent. It aimed at identifying the root causes that undermined social progress. Fitzgerald uses the basic concepts of modernity to advocate for change in literature and embrace new form of social organization. In his works, Fitzgerald uses various themes that advocate for modernism. 'Fitzgerald further emphasizes the way in which Modernism is fascinated 'with the way the mind processes or projects a reality which surrounds the individual but which is often alienating and oppressing.' (Camacho) He utilizes the technique of the unreliable narrator to further locate The Great Gatsby within the Modernist sensibility. The experience of modernity was sophisticated and the narrator wishes that everyone would accept modernism. 'One thing's sure and nothing's surer The rich get richer and the poor get ' children' (www.goodreads.com) Here we are made aware of the fact that riches stood as a definition for the pompous and sophisticated people in society i know 'I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything'Sophisticated - God, I'm sophisticated' (Fitzgerald) The Great Gatsby explains in literary style all the characteristics of modernism. The experience of modernity was sophisticated and the narrator wishes that everyone would accept modernism 'Either you think--or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize'(goodbooksincquotes.blogspot.com) Fitzgerald calls out on the society to civilize as he saw tradition as numbing and detaching people who expect positive aspects of modernity. Fitzgerald has cleared in his novel 'In America' about the modernity how the women is set free but is aimless without any goal and is used as a sex object in the novel 'Tender is the night' and because of this reason women like rosemary left behind people like Dick back and marched ahead towards the future '...One of the most interesting contributions Fitzgerald makes to the analysis of modernity he found in his various sources is his suggestion that the quintessential American art form, the cinema epitomizes the modern tourists consciousness is the movie movie studio at Monte Carlo, where Rosemary goes to meet Brady...' (Jackson, p. 139) There are many aspects of modernism in F. Scott Fitzgerald's works. Especially, The Great Gatsby, addresses important issues of Modernism. Most of the issues that relate to modernism are the development of technology, feminism, the effect of World War I upon society, a questioning of God, and the possibility of man's place in a possibly Godless Universe. Apart from these themes that deal in Modernist literature, Fitzgerald founded the technique of the unreliable narrator make The Great Gatsby an important part of modernism In fact, F. Scott Fitzgerald is a leader of the modernist movement in literature. His works look at the typical characteristics of modernism.The uniqueness and novelty of Fitzgerald's style put him in the lead of modernist writers. Fitzgerald's works of art and the characterization are used to aptly illustrate Fitzgerald as one who started the modernist movement. Moreover, modernism meant breaking away from traditional responses and predictable forms and raising social issues of decadence in an urbanized and industrial society. In this aspect Fitzgerald has succeeded greatly in his novel, The Great Gatsby.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his symbolic writing, like in the novel The Great Gatsby -Fitzgerald uses symbolism in the novel to represents an accurate reflection of the American life in the 1920's -The Doctor T.J. Eckelburg's eyes symbolize a godlike being watching everything a society, The food at Gatsby's party symbolize the members of the 1920's society -oranges show wasteful life, The two women dressed in yellow at Gatsby's party -they symbolize the values of the 1920's. Symbols are objects that recur in a piece of writing, which add an additional layer of meaning to the piece beyond the simple literal function of the object 'Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter'tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther' (Fitzgerald), Fitzgerald uses the green light as a metaphoric language to represent the consequences of the past to future dreams; 'Her porch was bright with the bought luxury of star-shine; the wicker of the settee squeaked fashionably as she turned toward him and he kissed her curious and lovely mouth. She had caught a cold and it made her voice huskier and more charming than ever and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor' (Fitzgerald). This attraction to the lights and shining things are a symbolic device; as Pachalska said, 'To some extent'the symbolism of the green light is Fitzgerald's invention, but its interpretation is conditioned and constrained by the conventional associations of green and light, which are not under Fitzgerald's control' (Pachalska, p. 283); the symbol is characterizing to darkness as light. In The Great Gatsby, Nick is aware of the influence effect light can have; 'I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness' (Fitzgerald). In great Gatsby America is like a dream, an illusion which means something that attracts but they are not achievable, everybody seeks ambitiously but eventually realizes that all dreams are not achievable and the dreams were all hallucinations or imaginations. Fitzgerald's lifestyle symbolism represent the superficial life lead by the society during the 1920's '...the sheep on the back lot of the old Laemmle studio...' (Fitzgerald, p.75), the sheep symbolize people and how they do what another person does without thinking if it is right or wrong, they follow what is done by others -you don't use your brains and think if what is done is right or wrong. the sheep just follows without thinking. So people are compared to them as they also do not think before acting. another big symbol throughout Fitzgerald's works is the 'car' it symbolises the wealth and class, 'When they got to the coast again the sky way grey, and at Santa Monica a sudden gust of rain bounced over them, Stahr halted beside the road, put them. Stahr halted beside the road, put on a raincoat, and lifted the canvas top' (Fitzgerald, p.305) this quote symbolizes wealth -only wealthy people drive nice cars, 'Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns' (Fitzgerald, p. 164) Gatsby's car is a good example as a status symbol. Overall, F. Scott Fitzgerald is very symbolic in his writing and applies those symbols to make observations of the world around him. He uses symbols to criticize human inhabitants and American society in many ways.
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