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Great Gatsby Introduction

Introduction Notes

Ashley Bartley

on 30 September 2015

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Transcript of Great Gatsby Introduction

Economic Policies
domestic violence
loosening moral standards
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
Style, Setting, & Themes
Mass-production and chain stores drove down prices and encouraged consumers to spend.
Runaway consumer credit was part of the overload that resulted in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Americans were also spending more money on entertainment, especially movies. President Calvin Coolidge and several famous vaudeville performers appeared in early sound-films. In 1927, Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer, the first commercially-released "talkie," changed the motion picture industry forever.
The losses - both financial and human - associated with World War I left the United States unwilling to entangle itself again into the affairs of foreign nations. The U.S. refusal to join the League of Nations was evidence of this new isolationist policy. Immigration rules and quotas were tightened. There was also a concerted effort to pursue and unmask spies, usually Communists or "Reds." The "us and them" mentality resulted in the revitalizing of such supremacists organizations as the KKK.
The popularity of the new Jazz music of New Orleans and Chicago, dances like the Charleston, combined with the relaxing moral code and the general feeling of optimism created the feeling of a never ending social party.
The United States' overall success in World War I, the survival of the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918, and an apparently strong economy led to a period of strong optimism and a new fun-seeking attitude.
Fitzgerald joined the Navy and was stationed at Camp Sheridan.
One week after Fitzgerald published This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald and Zelda were married in New York. One year later, Zelda gave birth to their only daughter. The family lived an extravagant lifestyle of partying. Their domestic life was turbulent, largely due to the couple's heavy alcohol consumption.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 24, 1896.
In 1918, Fitzgerald met and fell in love with eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre. Zelda refused to marry Scott because he did not have the means to finance the kind of lifestyle she was used to. She waited for a short time, but eventually broke off their engagement.
Social Stratification
of the
American Dream
... small
... small
Much of what was considered "roaring" about "The Roaring Twenties," however, contained the seeds of the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
In 1920, for the first time in United States history, more people were living in cities than on farms. Presidents Warren G. Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), and Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) supported big business and passed legislation that benefited large corporations, often at the expense of small business and farmers.
Harding's "return to normalcy" after World War I did little to address social and economic problems facing thousands of Americans.
Lack of Integrity
Motifs and Symbols
Geography plays an important role in defining SOCIAL STRATIFICATION.
Weather is used to reflect HUMAN CONDITIONS
Green Light
Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg

Names, dates, and ages
Names are one of the important tools that Fitzgerald uses to enhance character development.
Dates and ages help to define the beginning and ending of the dreams, and tie Fitzgerald's life's happenings into Gatsby's life and the 1920s.

Setting: summer of 1922, near New York City, in the towns of West Egg and East Egg.

Theodore Lothrop Stoddard's
The Rising Tide of Color Against
White World Supremacy
Rosy Rosenthal - small time gambler
involved with the underworld
"Black Sox" team of 1919 and
the fixing of the World Series
Kaiser Wilhelm
The Eighteenth Amendment, prohibiting the MANUFACTURE, SALE, or TRANSPORTATION of "intoxicating liquors" in the United States was ratified on January 16, 1919
The Volstead Act, which defined the phrase "intoxicating liquors," thus making the amendment enforceable, was passed on October 28, 1919.
Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect.
Never a popular law (even President Calvin Coolidge, who, as a senator, had voted for both the EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT and the Volstead Act, kept his White House well-stocked with illegal liquor), there were enough LOOPHOLES in the legislation to allow most people to acquire and consume at least as much alcohol as they had before:
Alcoholic drinks were widely available at "speakeasies" and other underground drinking establishments. Speakeasies were named for the fact that a patron had to "speak easy" and convince the doorman to let him or her in.
amounts of alcohol
were smuggled in from Canada.

Home brewing of beer and wine was popular during Prohibition.

Commercial wine was still produced in the U.S., but was only available through government warehouses, supposedly for use in RELIGIOUS ceremonies.
Whiskey was available by PRESCRIPTION. Although the
labels clearly warned that it was for "medicinal purposes" only
and that other uses were illegal, doctors freely wrote prescriptions and druggists filled them
without question.

Over a million gallons of whiskey were prescribed and consumed per year.
This discrepancy
between law and actual practice contributed to the widespread disdain for authority that had accompanied the return of World War I servicemen.
Because the Prohibition laws
did little to change the behavior of the citizenry, but eliminated all government regulation of an entire industry, Prohibition presented an enormous opportunity for
organized crime to take over the
importation, manufacture, and distribution
of alcoholic beverages.

The infamous gangster Al Capone
built his criminal empire largely
on profits from trafficking
in illegal alcohol.
Some Prohibition agents took bribes to overlook the illegal brewing activities of gangsters.
His father, Edward Fitzgerald, had charm and elegance but little money. The Fitzgeralds lived on the outskirts of a wealthy neighborhood, and although Scott played with the rich children, he was never totally accepted by them.
In 1919, Fitzgerald returned home to Minnesota. He wrote and published This Side of Paradise, in 1920.
The monies from the sale of This Side of Paradise began to run out, so Scott wrote and sold short stories. In 1925, Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, his most famous work.
Fitzgerald never
specifies how Gatsby
manages to amass such an
enormous fortune in the short
span of FIVE YEARS. Certainly, the
economy of the day would have allowed
for overnight riches on the stock market,
but there are also suggestions in the
novel that Gatsby is and has been
involved in ILLEGAL activities, quite
possibly bootlegging - illegal
trafficking in the manufacture,
transport, and sale
of alcohol.
Historical Background
Immigration, which had subsided during the war, increased drastically.
The threat of differing political ideas and the loss of American jobs to foreigners created an intense dislike of outsiders.
18th Amendment
granted women the right to vote, changed the nature of American politics and society. Women, who had held factory jobs during the war, had no intention of returning home.
Politically, the 1920s were a time of growth, prosperity, and corruption. Growth for the 1920s included financial and population growth. Financially, there were rampant materialism.
Post-World-War-I manufacturing flourished, producing cars, radios, & telephones. Consumer goods flooded the market, and people bought and bought.
Professional sports grew in popularity as people spent more and more money on entertainment.
In 1919, the scandal with the World Series involving the White Sox rocked the sports world.
Warren G. Harding's administration was plagued by scandal and corruption.
During Prohibition, when the illegal liquor business became lucrative, organized crime stepped in to fill the need.
"bobbed" their hair and threw out their corsets.
They took up smoking and drinking.
The face
of motherhood changed.
Women everywhere were challenging traditional notions
of femininity.
The basic tenets of the American Dream have much in common with values espoused in the Declaration of Independence. According to the American Dream, all Americans are born with equal opportunity to use their talents to improve their economic standing and thus secure their happiness. The Great Gatsby can be read as a critique of this ideal.
Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald makes comparisons between OLD money, NEW money, and NO money. Each of these groups has a specific place in society. The motif of geography is used to help develop this theme as each location represents a particular class of people.
Throughout the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald explores characters, situations, and settings designed to explore the lack of integrity among the members of the upper class.

The wealthy are depicted as cruel and careless.
It was the age of flappers and bathtub gin, an age of prosperity, and a time of moral and sexual revolution.
Fashions of the 1920s
Men's Fashions
1920's Dance
Length: 2:30
Length: 2:14
Life in the 1920s
Length 2:09
Take out a sheet of paper and title it: Gatsby Notes
Note two facts on your page under the author's name
Under each heading, write a brief description explaining the title
List the bulleted points below on your paper
Note and label each on your page
Prohibition banned only the manufacture, sale, and transport,
NOT the possession
or consumption
of alcohol.
This left many opportunities
for abuse open.
Create the following timeline on your page
Note the changes in women on your page
Full transcript