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F. Scott Fitzgerald & the 1920s

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Valerie Belill

on 5 March 2018

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Transcript of F. Scott Fitzgerald & the 1920s

The man behind
Hemingway writes of our author, "[Fitzgerald] thought they [the rich] were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't, it wrecked him just as much as any other thing that wrecked him."
The Roaring 20s!
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Roaring 20s!
World War I was over

Carpe Diem!
Latin for "seize the day"
"We can die any day, so let's have fun"

Lavish spending and partying
Reckless behavior and regret

The good times don't last forever!

Stock market crash of 1929
The Great Depression of the 1930s
Full name: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Ancestor of a famous song writer
Born in 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota

Early years:
Enrolled at Princeton in 1917
Neglected studies for literary internship
Put on academic probation
Joined the army (thought he would die)
Quickly wrote
The Romantic Egotist
Monday, February 17, 1927
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Economic Contradiction
The Roaring 20s!
Love-struck author
F. Scott Fitzgerald
They were the best of times....
Industry boomed
Farmers/southerns moving north and to cities
The rich became VERY rich

They were the worst of times....
But the poor became VERY poor
Some who moved to cities didn't find it
as easy as they thought it would be (remember
The Bread Givers

Example: While many people were starving and homeless, Andrew Carnegie was putting gold sinks and toilets in his mansion!
F. Scott Fitzgerald & the 1920s
A time of SCANDAL:
Prohibition was law
Bootleggers prospered
Speakeasies popular
A time of CHANGE:
Women's rights
Fashion changes (flappers)
Civil rights campaigns
A 1920s video that "predicts the future"!
Watch just for fun.
A Crash Course in the 1920s
Fitzgerald return from war in 1918
Fell in love with celebrated belle, Zelda Sayre
Unwilling to live on his small salary, Zelda broke off their engagement

In 1920, Fitzgerald published
This Side of Paradise
It was wildy successful and brought Fitzgerald much fame
A week later, he and Zelda were wed in New York.
Zelda loved....
Fitzgerald loved....
A love story....
The Fitzgeralds traveled to France in 1924 for a season
This was a trendy, wealthy activity in the time
He wrote The Great Gatsby while there
Many say that Gatsby was told after similar events and struggles in Fitzgerald's own life, primarily the desperation to fit into a society above one's own and failure to ever become more than an imposter.

Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby
Zelda suffered her first of a series of "breakdowns"
Known as "the crack-up." Ill, drunk, in debt, and unable to write commercial stories, Fitzgerald lived in hotels in NC
Fitzgerald died believing himself to be a failure
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald found life with Zelda seductive and exciting, yet he was never completely happy or satisfied (a similar theme will be found in the novel).
Turn of the century-1960s or so
Influenced by The Great War (aka WWI)
Stylistic elements:
Inner-self/ consciousness
Focused on:
The MACHINE (the structure of society)
Alienation of the individual
Dissension b/t cultural groups (genders, races, class systems)
The search for meaning in a chaotic world
Didn't really care about:
Being (i.e. advice for living)
Structures of history
If you are unfamiliar with these terms, search for them online and define them in your notes.
Full transcript