F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is a set in New York City during the 1920s: a time of youth, wealth, and prohibition. There are several timeless themes such as love, wealth, and death. Other themes are more specific to the era like the materialism of the Roaring Twenties and social class.
The Great Gatsby is about the American dream
All of The Great Gatsby's characters are chasing their ideal version of the American Dream.
The Great Gatsby is about The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties was a time of wealth, glamour, and having a high social status.
The Great Gatsby is about Nick Carraway exploring his sexuality
Throughout the novel, Nick was involved in suggestive scenes with both men and women but did not have a lasting romantic relationship with anyone. This serves as a nod to his journey in exploring his sexuality.
Jay Gatsby’s death is symbolic of the demise of the great American dream.
The American dream expounds that through hard-work anyone can find success and happiness. However, when Gatsby died, he eliminated this possibility for all the characters. Nick lost his ties with the elite, Daisy lost her opportunity to find true love, and ultimately Gatsby’s death ushered the death of the American dream.
Jay Gatsby's parties symbolize the shallowness of the upper class in The Great Gatsby
Gatsby's parties were the hub for upper-class society. He throws huge weekly parties with many upper-class attendees, but has next-to-no friends; no one knows anything about him or how he came by his money and he does not seem inclined to share this information with anyone. It shows the shallowness of the upper-class and the fact that they are obsessed with wealth.