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The Great Gatsby

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vanessa smith

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby

Biographical Influences
Born in 1896 and grew up with manners, values, standards, and culture of the late 19th century
during his younger years there were many American fortunes and there were major inequalities in society
He was born into a time of great nationalism and hope but that soon died when the war started
The world became a bitter, untrustworthy place
His mother was Irish-Catholic and owned a small fortune in Minnesota as grocers
His father was a salesman for Procter and Gamble so he traveled a lot growing up but his father lost his job in 1908
He was bright, Handsome and ambitious and his parents sent him to a school after establishing his talent as a writer where he stayed until war
He volunteered to join war to be gentlemanly and because he was having academic difficulties at Princeton (NOT out of patriotism)
He did not enter battle but it changed his views on life and eliminated all his faith
he was a lieutenant and was assigned to camp Sheridan of Montgomery, Alabama where he fell in love with 18 years old Zelda Sayre the daughter of an Alabama supreme court judge
after war he moved to NYC in order to start a career in advertising lucrative enough to convince Zelda to marry him
he quit his job moved back to St. Paul and wrote novels that made him famous and rich
one week later he married Zelda (his works are very much based off of their relationship) and they had a baby in 1921
He lived an extravagant lifestyle after achieving his celebrity status. They were rich, famous and very social
He then wrote a book about his struggling marriage
After that he needed a change in scenery and moved to France where he wrote The Great Gatsby
While writing Gatsby he looked past his relationship with Zelda and focused on the general romantic quest itself
Biographical Influences
Historical Influences
World War 1, The Great Depression, the boom, the roaring twenties, and the jazz age
There was a very distinct class system but Americans still believed it was a land of opportunity
The boom allowed for prosperity and money was easily made in the stock market (There was a get rich fast mentality)
18th amendment prohibiting manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in US had major social and economic effects
Prohibition resulted in organized crime as bootlegging (dealing in alcohol) became a major industry

Historical Influences
Speakeasies became very popular and women began to drink and smoke in public
It was the jazz age which originally had sexual connotations as it referred to the "revolt of youth" in addition to the jazz music that was associated with it
War ended in 1919, resulting in 1920s being a period of long nights and life was good for most people
In NYC people were happy, carefree and they focused on living the high life and partying
Time of progress and widespread wealth, and technological advances (washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and 27 million cars manufactured)

Social Influences
F. Scott Fitzgerald associated with twenties as he embodies its charm, ebullience, genius, and confidence
Low taxes and availability of servants allowed for the middle and upper class to thrive
self-made men, and successful business men were heros
society was appalling, careless, greedy, and everyone in search of prosperity abandoned their values and focused on accumulation of wealth, spending money, and abusing power
rapid changes in economy, the media, transportation, styles and behaviour
social changes took place and modern literature, music and art emerged
fans began idolizing movie stars, sport players, and any celebrities out there
Fitzgerald and his wife were rich and famous and lead a life of partying, drinking and endless talk just like everybody else in the 1920s
Political Influences
The 18th amendment prohibition of alcohol
Women getting rights but men were still ultimately in control
no social security benefits, rare pensions,and women were denied right to vote until 1920
Nobody trusted politicians and noble causes (everyone was bitter and selfish after war)
introduction of consumer lifestyle
Introduction
Conclusion
The major theme in the novel "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
is relationships. Fitzgerald outlines the struggles regarding romantic, friendly, and family relationships during the 1920s in addition to the influence wealth, ambition, and war have on these relationships. This would have been a very popular topic during this time period as many people had a lot of hope for a better future and longing for a family and an extravagant lifestyle. The American dream of being rich and famous was growing in the people of this time period which resulted in a lot of "Gold-digging" and unhealthy relationships among wealthy people in order to live the popular consumer lifestyle. There was an extremely structured class system and this novel focuses on the destruction of relationships between people within the upper class in order for wealth and power. The novel also focuses on the importance of friends and family. Fitzgerald absolutely based his novels off of his own life and experiences, the novel was influenced greatly by events in history that happened prior to writing it in addition to the politics and society of that time period.
In conclusion, there are many biographical, historical, social and
political influences involved in the creation of this novel's characters, plot, and setting which ultimately develop the theme of relationships. To reflect the pessimistic view of many people during the time period in which Fitzgerald wrote this novel all relationships had an unhappy ending. All of the relationships were based solely off of social status, wealth and power instead of love as they should be. There was much cheating that came along with the excessive drinking and disorderly behaviour of the 1920s. Everyone was selfish and careless and the relationships in this novel truly illustrate that. Relationships were calculated and planned out in order to achieve a high social status and to be rich and powerful. Events in Fitzgerald's life and his relationships completely reflected the relationships in the novel and their tragic endings. Furthermore, the historical events of that time evidently influenced his pessimistic attitude and the carefree, selfish, and power hungry characters in the novel , thus forming unhealthy relationships. Finally, the politics and the class system severely impacted the relationships as one's social class dictated his relationship partners and the people they were surrounded with. Therefore, in the novel "The Great Gatsby" F. Scott Fitzgerald used all biographical, historical, social and political influences to accurately depict the true nature of relationships during the 1920s.
Fitzgerald's life experiences influences the plot characters and setting
of the novel. He grew up, pretty well off, in a time when social class meant everything and everybody had a dream of being rich and famous. In addition they dreamed of having a wonderful social status and great relationships. However this hope died as the war started and Fitzgerald saw the first hand the death of the American dream. This lead to all of the relationships in the novel ending in sorrow and destruction. Secondly, the relationships were very much based off of who was the most wealthy and powerful and who lead the most extravagant lifestyle. This is what Gatsby strives for in order to win over Daisy and because of her shallow nature it works at first and then she resorts back to Tom for his stability. The war greatly affected Fitzgerald's relationship with his wife Zelda and this is reflected as the war is the reason for Gatsby and Daisy's falling out. Lastly, it influenced the setting as Gatsby, like Fitzgerald, moved to NYC to make enough money and become rich and famous in order to win over the woman he loved. Both Gatsby and Fitzgerald were successful in becoming rich and famous however opposite to popular belief this did not lead to a healthy, happy relationship. Thus, his life's experiences greatly influenced the plot, characters, and setting in the novel.
Events in history extremely influenced the characters, plot and setting of the
novel. Firstly, the alcohol prohibition lead to an increase in bootlegging which in this novel was how Gatsby achieved his great wealth that he required in order to rekindle his relationship with Daisy. Also, as the prohibition ended the partying lifestyle was very popular. Fitzgerald was very involved in that extravagant lifestyle, in this way the characters and their traits were very much based off of the customs of that time period. Secondly, history influenced the plot as this partying lifestyle is what ultimately brought Daisy and Gatsby back together and developed the hateful relationship between Tom and Nick. Nick got drunk as Tom introduced him to his mistress and revealed his true disloyal nature that lead to Nick disliking Tom. Finally it influenced the setting as speakeasies began to become popular and women began to drink and smoke in public the partying and long nights increased greatly. Many events in the novel include partying, drinking, and gathering in speakeasies or huge houses for such occasions. Fake relationships were formed and cheating was very common, such as Tom and Daisy who cheat on each other at points in this novel showing marriages are not respected as they should be. Hence, historical events influenced the characters, plot, and setting of the novel.

Furthermore, the social and political aspects of that time period influenced the characters, plot, and setting of the novel. Firstly, each character in the novel has some characteristics of Fitzgerald himself. Gatsby with his charm, fame and wealth would have been seen as a hero during that time. Fitzgerald based all of those characteristics off of himself as he was a wealth, famous author at the time. Secondly, as society was so appalling the relationships that were formed were not out of love but were made based on social status and power. All of their values were lost and thus the lack of respect for marriage and real love. They were all caught up in the social changes and new technologies that they were consumed by all of it and forgot what was important, like family, friends and loving relationships. Just as sports players and musicians were gaining fans, people like Gatsby were gaining fans, and with fame came rumors. These rumors eventually lead to Gatsby and Nick having a closer relationship and Gatsby finding Daisy. Women were just now starting to gain rights and this you see as Daisy is in control of who she chooses to be with but ultimately Tom still has some control over her as she is reliant on him for money and stability. That is all that their relationship is based off of. With the introduction of the consumer lifestyle came the increased significance of money and wealth in relationships. Also, it influenced the setting as all of the events in the novel happen and relationships form at social gatherings. For example, Jordan and Nick form their relationship at Gatsby's parties. Therefore, this novel is very much based of the social and political aspects of the time period in which Fitzgerald wrote it.
Relationships
Family
- Nick and Daisy, Tom and Daisy, Myrtle and Mr. Wilson
Friendly
- Daisy and Jordan, Nick and Gatsby, Tom and Nick
Romantic
- Daisy and Gatsby, Daisy and Tom, Tom and Myrtle, Myrtle and Mr. Wilson, Jordan and Nick
The Great Gatsby
The novel is about a man named Gatsby, who is born into a poor family but is very ambitious. He is sent to war where he meets a girl named Daisy and they fall in love. However Daisy was rich and very shallow and could never love a poor man. Gatsby's real self however was hidden by his uniform. After the war Gatsby became wealthy by bootlegging alcohol in order to marry Daisy. Except in the process Daisy married another man named Tom. Gatsby bought a beautiful large house that, by no coincidence, was across the bay from Daisy and Tom. The novel is told from the perspective of Nick Carraway, who is Daisy's cousin and plays a key role in their reunion. The novel follows Gatsby on his journey to win over Daisy, however ends on a sour note when she rejects him and through a sequence of crazy events is murdered.
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