The cultural scene of 1920: Amory's Confusion
Very restless, rise of youth rebelling against the moral judgments of older generation, rise of parties with prosperity, more sexual freedom, rise of flapper look (tom boyish, short bobbed hair, fringed skirts), flowering of African American culture in arts, also called Jazz age, radio rose as a source of entertainment, movies became a popular entertainment with rise of Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swensen and others, Sound came in Movies, also the time of a new era in design named Art Deco, excavations of Egyptian pyramids, discovery of tombs, rise in professional sports.
In the field of Design, this period gave rise to many products, which were made to make life easier. This led to availability of leisure time with people. With the money and time and popularity of air travel gave rise to tourism. New products came into market such as kitchen accessories, vacuum cleaner, washing machines etc. Women became more liberal, many also started working outside their homes.
The period saw political rise of Gandhi in India with non-cooperation movement against the British rule.
All the above lead to many popular writers of the time criticizing the rise in believes in material wealth and its superficiality including Fitzgerald. This was a period of confusion, the erosion of the old values and the rise of the new ones. It was difficult to get away from the value system one had grown up with but at the same time it was impossible to ignore the new ones. The world after the war, technological innovation, power shifts, cultural revolution, art movements and other happenings was new but the the world before all of the above still lived in people’s mind. One could see the superficiality of materialism, could see the confusions in the youth’s mind related to the value system but that was also reality.