World War I

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When Nick meets Gatsby, before he even knew it was Gatsby, they discussed their service in World War I. This takes place in Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, at Gatsby’s party. Nick mentions that he served in the ninth machine-gun battalion. Gatsby then says he served in the Seventh Infantry. They continued on to talk about their experiences in France during the war.

World War I officially began on July 28, 1914. The war is said to have been caused by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Truthfully, the war was a longtime in the making and everyone knew the delicate peace of Eastern Europe would not last. The tremendous amount of political instability didn’t help either. The assassination of the Archduke was just the breaking point for a long and costly war.

The United States entered World War I on April 4, 1917, despite all of Woodrow Wilson’s best efforts to remain neutral. Fighting only lasted for another year and a half after the entry of the US. WWI officially ended on November 11, 1918. This date is now known as Veterans Day. Overall, more than nine million soldiers and ten million civilians lost their lives ( Editors).

World War I was also called “The War to End All Wars”. Unfortunately, we know now that it was not the last war, or even World War. World War II began just 20 years after the end of WWI. World War II was the largest and deadliest war in history.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 10 Apr. 1925. Editors. “World War I.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009,

The 1919 World Series

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In The Great Gatsby, the 1919 World Series is mentioned in the 4th chapter. This is when Nick meets Mr. Meyer Wolfsheim. Nick has lunch with him an and Gatsby. During this lunch Nick is curious as to what Mr. Wolfsheim does and Gatsby told him he was responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.

“The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of an inevitable chain.

The Great Gatsby, F scott Fitzgerald

The 1919 World’s Series was between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. This series became known as the ‘Black Sox Scandal’ because the Chicago White Sox teamed up with gamblers to fix the series and make a profit. The leader of this operation is said to be Arnold Rothstein (do we really think the Jewish names are a coincidence). They charged eight White Sox players with fixing the series (Andrews). Anyways, the public found out a year later and everyone was way mad. In response to the whole scandal, they hired a Commissioner of Baseball to hopefully prevent it from happening again.

Picture of Arnold Rothstein

In the time that Fitzgerald was writing The Great Gatsby the ‘Black Sox Scandal’ would’ve been fresh news, a common shared cultural development. It would have been something that most every American reading it in the 1920’s would have a basic knowledge of, or they were at least aware that it happened. Most people now don’t pay much attention to the 1919 World’s Series (and completely understandable). I suppose it would be similar in ways to the Astro’s cheating scandal of 2017 and 2018. I just think it’s interesting how something has lost historical significance as time has past, yet The Great Gatsby, the book it was referenced in, has not.

Works Cited

Andrews, Evan. “What Was the 1919 ‘Black Sox’ Baseball Scandal?” HISTORY, 9 Oct. 2014,

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 10 Apr. 1925.

Final Project

This is my final project. It is about my experience with Gatsby in the 21st century. This class has been my deepest experience with this novel and therefore this is a skit about this class. It is about when the people from my hometown ask me about my semester and my classes. It shows how I would share my experience with Gatsby in the 21st century with someone else, using argument styles also learned in this class.

The argument I presented was that the gangster is a tragic hero. I used Robert Warshow’s essay “The Gangster as Tragic Hero”, to frame my argument.

Works Cited

Warshow, Robert. “The Gangster as Tragic Hero.” n.d. Web. 1 October 2013.

Key Terms and Phrases

The following are a few terms and phrases that were important to my work in this class and to the novel The Great Gatsby.

The Roaring 20s- This is another name for the 1920s, the era that The Great Gatsby was set in. It is a time period known for its excessive partying, unique style, and carefree youthfulness. It’s also known for its consumption of alcohol despite being an era of prohibition.

Narration Style- The Great Gatsby is known for it’s unique narration style compared to other novels. The story is told by Nick Carraway, who is essentially a side character. He is not the protagonist, but merely an observer. The reader sees the story through his eyes, which presents discussions of bias and whether he’s a reliable narrator.

Tragic Hero- There are many different kinds of tragic heroes (Shakespeare and Aristotle). A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy. There are some similar elements of the tragic hero throughout all types; a tragic flaw, a great turning point from within themselves, and a tragic ending (usually death but not always). Gatsby fits the mold for for a tragic hero in The Great Gatsby. Robert Warshow argues that the pop culture character ” The Gangster” is also a tragic hero in his essay “The Gangster as a Tragic Hero” in 1948.

Meritocracy- an ideology, the belief that success is granted to those who earn it, through hard work. It is the basis for the American Dream.

The American Dream- This is the foundational idea behind America. The name “The American Dream” was first coined by James Truslow Adams in 1931, but the idea existed long before it was given a name. The American Dream is the idea that anyone, so long as they work hard enough, can experience success and prosperity in America.

The Gatsby Curve- This is a function in economics that represents the relationship between income inequality and intergenerational mobility, which is the passing down of economic advantage/disadvantage to your children. The Gatsby Curve shoes that the higher the income inequality, the less intergenerational mobility, meaning a higher likelihood that children will stay in the same social class as their parents were before them.

Myth- a widespread falsehood

The color green- There is a lot of color symbolism in The Great Gatsby, but an important color is green. Green comes in the form of the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. This is the light that Gatsby worships throughout the book. Green is also mentioned in the end by Nick Carraway, and used to describe the New World. Green in The Great Gatsby symbolizes hope and longing for the future, and a better future at that.

Preliminary Writing Assignment 6

The following is an annotated bibliography, created to aid the construction of my final research paper.

Cohen-Marks, Mara A., and Christopher Stout. “Can the American Dream Survive the New Multiethnic America? Evidence from Los Angeles1.” Sociological Forum, vol. 26, no. 4, 11 Nov. 2011, pp. 824–845, 10.1111/j.1573-7861.2011.01286.x.

  • This text is conclusions from a sociological survey done in Los Angeles. African Americans and Asian Americans were less likely to believe in the American Dream than white people. Latinos stood out with their optimism in their ability to achieve the American Dream. This study defines the American Dream as “if you work hard enough and play by the rules then you should have a shot at success”.
  • The American Dream will continue despite its continued shortcomings. A survey done in Los Angeles showed that most Americans, regardless of race or gender, remained optimistic about the possibility of achieving the American Dream. This shows the hold that the American Dream has over the citizens of this country and thus ensuring its influence into the future.

Corak, Miles. “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, no. 3, 2013, pp. 79–102, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This is a journal article focused on economics. It is written by Miles Corak who is an economics professor at the City University of New York. The article focuses on what the American Dream looks like when translated into the world of economics, which is actually known as ‘The Gatsby Curve”. The Gatsby Curve is a function that represents the relationship between inequality of incomes and intergenerational economic mobility (or the economic advantage/disadvantage passed down to children). The Gatsby Curve signals rather than directly measure this relationship. In the US, a college degree allows a person to make on average 70% more than a person without a college degree, and the study found that children of high-income families had a much better chance of graduating college. Inequality lowers mobility because it shapes opportunity. Therefore, the difference between opportunity and outcomes is circumstances of economic advantage.

Harding, Brandon Lee. Economic Inequality and America’s Dominant Ethos: Examining the Effect of Rising Wealth and Income Inequality on Beliefs about the American Dream. 2016, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This text is a dissertation written by a student at San Diego State University. This student, Brandon Lee Harding, was studying in the field of political science in 2016. His research questions “Are young college students aware that wealth and income inequality has markedly increased since 1970?”, “Has rising economic inequality affected this sample group’s belief in the American Dream?”, and “What demographic categories influence one’s opinion of economic inequality and one’s belief in the American Dream?”. This study showed an inconsistency in ideologies. The group believed that the American Dream is a withering process but also that the group is still attached to the idea that individual effort determines success, which is the basis for the American Dream. In fact, 51% of those surveyed believed that the American Dream was achievable. White and affluent people showed to believe more in the American Dream than Hispanic, African-American, and non-affluent populations. The American Dream does not match the realities of America’s current conditions. This survey did focus on college-aged millennials. The conclusion was that they were aware of rising wealth and income inequality, and overall had a pessimistic outlook on the American Dream, but they still believed i the ideals that the American Dream was founded on. This is evidence of two competing ideologies within the population.

Hauhart, Robert C. “American Sociology’s Investigations of the American Dream: Retrospect and Prospect.” The American Sociologist, vol. 46, no. 1, 2015, pp. 65–98, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This is an article published in The American Sociologist in 2015 by Robert Hauhart. The paper was written to persuade the sociology community to re-dedicate efforts to analyzing the American Dream, like it once did. Overall, it might not sound to be completely relevant to my chosen research, however it proved to be very useful. Hauhart first defines the American Dream, using evidence from author James Truslow Adams, as the idea that America is a place where life is better and fuller for all, with endless opportunity for anyone and everyone. Hauhart goes on to say that to define the American Dream as simply the goal of economic achievement, is to diminish its meaning and influence. He also states that Americans still believe in this dream, despite evidence against, due to needing an ideal to anchor themselves to. Hauhart states that Americans, as a whole, have already diminished their belief in the institutions of religion, family, and community; they cannot also lose faith in the entire meaning and purpose of their country. Hauhart then delves into the history of the sociological study of the American Dream, which I almost dismissed because of its apparent inapplicability; however, it wildly shows the disadvantaged population’s experience with the American Dream. 

Hoyt, Crystal L., et al. “Believing in the American Dream Sustains Negative Attitudes toward Those in Poverty.” Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 84, no. 3, 3 July 2021, pp. 203–215, 10.1177/01902725211022319.

  • This is a research article. The team of researchers were trying to connect a belief in a meritocracy (outcomes distributed by merit) to negative attitudes toward those in poverty. They demonstrated that these beliefs promote negative attitudes through blame. Influencing feelings towards the poor affects potential future policy.
  • Believing in the American Dream affects our belief in others, and in the humanity around us. A research article published in 2021 showed that there was a connected relationship between the belief in meritocracy, or the American Dream, and negative attitudes towards people in poverty through blame. The American Dream makes us critical of the efforts of everyone around us without ever looking to be critical of the system that creates these circumstances.

Newman, Benjamin J. “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Local Gender-Based Earnings Inequality and Women’s Belief in the American Dream.” American Journal of Political Science, vol. 60, no. 4, 22 June 2015, pp. 1006–1025, 10.1111/ajps.12195. Accessed 21 Nov. 2018.

  • This is a 2015 Political Science article exploring the gender wage gap and its effects on women’s belief in the American Dream. The author argues that a variation in the economic status of women in an area should influence belief in the American Dream in the same area. To determine this the author used a survey. The results conclude that an individual woman’s belief in the American Dream is directly influenced by other women achieving or attempting the American Dream around them.
  • Women have so rarely been the achievers of the American Dream that they stopped believing that it was achievable for them. A 2015 survey done by Benjamin Newman found strong evidence for this relationship. Women have been the losers of the American Dream for so long that their belief in the American Dream is tied to the success of the women around them. Their belief in this dream is only changed when another woman proves that it is possible.

Riggio, Clara R. “Defifining the American Dream: A Generational Comparison.” Modern Psychological Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, 1 July 2021, pp. 1–21, Accessed 13 May 2022.

  • This is a study done on how different generations view and define the American Dream. This study was conducted through a series of 20 interviews. The data collected showed that older generations have a clearer view and strong faith in the American Dream, while younger generations had doubts. No two people defined the American Dream the same way.
  • The definition of the American Dream has changed over time, and throughout generations. Belief in the ideology of America has waned and the change of definitions across generational boundaries is evidence of that. A small research project done by Clara Riggio, published in journal of Modern Psychological Studies, provides a clear picture of this.

Ştiuliuc, Diana. “The American Dream as the Cultural Expression of North American Identity.” Philologica Jassyensia, vol. 7, no. 2, 1 Dec. 2011, pp. 363–370, Accessed 13 May 2022.

  • This article is published by Diana Stiuliuc, who is a graduate student at a Romanian University. She claims that the American Dream shapes this nation, and we also shape the American Dream. The Dream changes depending upon who you are and that is the point.
  • The American Dream is defined differently by each individual because of the diversity in the US. The US is often called “The Melting Pot” because of its multiethnic population. To eact of these individuals is a different struggle unique to race, gender, and age. For every unique struggle, there is a unique dream of success. Romanian scholar Diana Stiuliuc wrote an article in detail over this point.


Prohibition refers to the period in United States history when the production, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages was outlawed. This was done through the ratification of the 18th amendment on January 16, 1919 and went into affect on January 17, 1920 ( Editors).

Women were among the most common supporters of this movement, along with bosses. Men that are drunk aren’t exactly great husbands or employees. Woodrow Wilson was the President at the time, and he was at the end of his second term.

Prohibition turned out to be harder to enforce than originally thought. The responsibly was first given to the Internal Revenue Service, which was entirely too underfunded and understaffed for the job. This led to somewhat of an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ situation and the Department of Justice taking over.

The absence of enforcement led to a rise in crime, and a crime of a whole new kind. Bootlegging and speakeasies were invented. Speakeasies were illegal bars, and bootlegging is what supplied them. It was criminally easy, so easy that people started to make a business out of it. You might know these people as Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, or John Dillinger. It was the start of organized crime and the gangster.

This relates to Gatsby directly. Not only was it something that happened during his time, but bootlegging was how Gatsby became Gatsby, it was his job. It’s how he knows Meyer Wolfsheim. It’s what Tom uses against him.

The end of prohibition came with the Great Depression. The government (as well as its citizens) was broke, and alcohol was taxable. FDR decided that everyone was drinking anyways, you might as well try to get some money for federal programs while we were at it.

Works Cited

Editors, “Prohibition.” History, A&E Television Networks, 21 Aug. 2018,

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 10 Apr. 1925.


This is my blog for my Expository Writing class about The Great Gatsby. In this blog I will talk about the history of the 1920’s, and how it affected the culture. I am an Anthropology major at the University of Oklahoma, so I will essentially be taking that and applying it to The Great Gatsby. Anyways, welcome.

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