As with any set of starting points, neither of these starting points exists in isolation. High-context communication often corresponds with communitarian settings, just as low-context communication often occurs in individualist settings. This is not always true, but it is worth exploring because it is frequently the case. Where communitarianism is the preferred starting point, individual expression may be less important than group will. Indirect communication that draws heavily on nonverbal cues may be preferable in such a setting, because it allows for multiple meanings, saves face, leaves room for group input into decisions, and displays interdependence. In individualist settings, low-context communication may be preferable because it is direct, expresses individual desires and initiatives, displays independence, and clarifies the meaning intended by the speaker.
Like Nick in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald found this new lifestyle seductive and exciting, and, like Gatsby, he had always idolized the very rich. Now he found himself in an era in which unrestrained materialism set the tone of society, particularly in the large cities of the East. Even so, like Nick, Fitzgerald saw through the glitter of the Jazz Age to the moral emptiness and hypocrisy beneath, and part of him longed for this absent moral center. In many ways, The Great Gatsby represents Fitzgerald’s attempt to confront his conflicting feelings about the Jazz Age. Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised.