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The Great Gatsby

Cultural background information and plot overview
by

Timmy Schloer

on 8 October 2012

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby

They start an affair Tom grows increasingly suspicious of Daisy's relation-ship to Gatsby Tom forces a confrontation with Gatsby at a hotel Nick comes to New York to learn about the bond business Key facts Setting: Long Island and New York City, Summer 1922 Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrator: Nick Carraway
Protagonist: Gatsby and/or Nick Gatsby has amassed a vast fortune in order to win the affections of the upper-class Daisy Buchanan, but his mysterious past stands in the way of his being accepted by her. Nick gets an invitation to one of Gatsby's legendary parties Daisy realizes she belongs to Tom Gatsby and Daisy meet again at Nick's Nick has dinner with his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Nick arranges a small funeral for Gatsby, breaks up with Jordan and moves back to the Midwest On the way home she runs over Myrtle Gatsby takes the blame and gets killed by George, Myrtle's husband PLOT Cultural Background The Roaring Twenties Refers to the 1920s in North America

It was a decade of rapid change regarding
Culture
Society
Economy American Dream National ethos of the United States - a definition:

A set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work Culture Changing role of women - they gain suffrage, attend college, adopt a new lifestyle "The Jazz Age". Famous performers like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Spread rapidly over radio stations African-American art rises. Known as the Harlem Renaissance. Economy Era of great economic growth and widespread prosperity Mass production made technology affordable to the middle class. Automobiles, movies, radios, and chemical industries skyrocketed Urbanization reaches a climax. More than half of the Americans live in cities. 15 percent in metropolitan centers Society Three main sources of trouble: Prohibition, increasing organized crime

"Red Scare" - anti-communist hysteria

Great Migration of African Americans History The idea dates back to the 1600s European immigrants had high hopes for the unexplored continent Their dreams focused on owning land and establishing a prosperous business Stereotypical Dream Being average --> married, two children, live in a 3 bedroom home Improving upon the past What it means to the people Represents the desire to live a better life than the previous generation did Especially true among immigrants Criticism Idealistic vision disregards discrimination based on race, religion, gender Equates prosperity with happiness, and that happiness is possible without wealth or in poverty --> contradiction The decline of the American Dream in the 1920s Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values

Easy money and relaxed social values corrupted the Dream of discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. Gatsby’s dream of loving Daisy is ruined by: the difference in their respective social statuses,

his resorting to crime to make enough money to impress her,

rampant materialism that characterizes his lifestyle Midwesterners pursue a new dream of money, fame, success, glamour, and excitement. Tom and Daisy must have a huge house, a stable of polo ponies, friends in Europa Outline Roaring Twenties

American Dream

Plot overview

The decline of the American Dream Are there any questions? Thank you for listening!
Full transcript