Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

A-level English - The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald: Themes

A guide to resources on The Great Gatsby for your A-level English topic - compiled by your librarians

The American dream

The American Dream is what drives the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great GatsbyThe American Dream is the firmly held belief that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their goals and become rich and prosperous if they only work hard enough. What is it about the American Dream that never seems to satisfy? The ideal American Dream is not so realistic. The characters of The Great Gatsby cannot grasp the concept that The American Dream is an illusion because not everyone can get what they want if they work hard.

1920s - A decade of change

source :

 The 1920s: A Decade of Change 

 Have you ever heard the phrase “the roaring twenties?” Also known as the Jazz Age, the decade of the 1920s featured economic prosperity and carefree living for many. The decade began with a roar and ended with a crash.  

By Barrett A. Silverstein 

source: Tar Heel Junior Historian 43:2 (spring 2004) 

America goes dry!

The flapper look of the Twenties

No decade in recent history has seen as much change in the status and style of women as the 1920s, sometimes called the Roaring Twenties or the Era of Wonderful Nonsense. Trendy young women of the 1920s were nicknamed flappers, and the flapper became the image that represented the tremendous change in women's lives and attitudes during that period.

To live in the 1920s


During Prohibition, the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages were restricted or illegal. Prohibition was supposed to lower crime and corruption, reduce social problems, lower taxes needed to support prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America

Roaring twenties

(Manhattan island map in the 1920s)