32¢ The Gatsby Style
Celebrate the Century – 1910s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
The 1920s were an era of prosperity and optimism. For the first time, many Americans simply wanted to enjoy life, and as their amusements, they chose stock market investing, illegal liquor, and short skirts. Young people of the era adopted a pleasure-seeking lifestyle, abandoning traditional values and searching for anything modern, shocking, or radical. The notions of liberty, self-expression, and living for the moment were paramount.
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald was a product and spokesman of the era. The values he and his fellow “lost generation” members embraced were detailed in The Great Gatsby, published in 1925. The moral emptiness of wealthy society and its frantic pursuit of success were chronicled in the novel, the story of a rich American bootlegger.
No stranger to the excesses of the pleasure-seeking twenties, Fitzgerald was both a leading participant and detached observer of those who led the high life. He and his wife, Zelda, experienced the extravagant, high-speed, party-like lifestyle of the era. This eventually took its toll on the author, and Fitzgerald struggled to produce serious work. Critics contend the book may have marked the high point of Fitzgerald’s talent.