Category: Reflections

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.


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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