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Introduction to The Great Gatsby

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Claire Hill

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Introduction to The Great Gatsby

Welcome to the
Roaring 20s I'm gonna rouge my knees
And roll my stockings down…
Slick your hair
And wear your buckle shoes…
I hear that father dip
Is gonna blow the blues…
Find a flask
We're playing fast and loose…
Come on babe
We're gonna brush the sky
I bet you lucky Lindy
Never flew so high… Rouge my knees and roll my stockings down
~put pink makeup on the knees, which are exposed by the rolled down stockings. ~Prior to the 1920s, women's fashions covered the knees. Daring women called flappers began the fashion of showing them, which was considered super-sexy at the time. Slick your hair and wear
your buckle shoes
~fashions of trend setters
in the 1920s. Men and women
used oil, cream and pomades
to make their hair shiny and
close to the head. Father Dip - most likely Louis Armstrong
- one of his many nicknames was "Sweet Papa Dip" Flask - small flat container for alcohol,
often carried secretly by party-goers in the
1920s because alcohol was illegal in the US Lucky Lindy - pilot Charles Lindbergh,
famous for making the first solo,
nonstop, transatlantic flight from
New York to Paris in 1927. American author of novels and short stories
His writings are of the Jazz Age

Fitzgerald’s writing evokes not the pessimism and sense of powerlessness but the pleasure-seeking spirit of the decade following the First World War. F. Scott Fitzgerald(1896-1940) Fitzgerald's most famous novel is called
The Great Gatsby published in 1925.

He is widely regarded as one of the
greatest American writers of the 20th century. The Playful flapper here we see,
The fairest of the fair.
She's not what Grandma used to be,
You might say, au contraire.
Her girlish ways may make a stir,
Her manners cause a scene,
But there is no more harm in her
Than in a submarine.

She nightly knocks for many a goal
The usual dancing men.
Her speed is great, but her control
Is something else again.
All spotlights focus on her pranks.
All tongues her prowess herald.
For which she well may render
thanks To God and Scott Fitzgerald.

Her golden rule is plain enough -
Just get them young and treat them
Rough. 'The Flapper'
By Dorothy Parker "Flapper" in the 1920s was a term applied to a
"new breed" of young western women who wore
short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz,
and flaunted their disdain for what was then
considered acceptable behaviour.

Flappers were seen as brash for wearing
excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex
in a casual manner, smoking, driving
automobiles and otherwise flouting social
and sexual norms. Writers in the United States such as F. Scott Fitzgerald popularized the flapper look and lifestyle through his work, and flappers came to be seen as attractive, reckless,
and independent.

The secretary of labour denounced the "flippancy of the cigarette smoking, cocktail-drinking flapper.“

A Harvard psychologist reported that flappers had "the lowest degree of intelligence" and constituted "a hopeless problem for educators." In one minute, write down as much as
you remember about the information
that we have looked at so far… The Lindy might also refer to a new dance that developed at this time called the Lindy Hop. The best dancer of the time was "Shorty" George Snowden.

Rumour has it that Snowden was doing the first Lindy Hop (a circular Charleston with a break-away) and caught the eye of a newspaper reporter who asked what dance he was doing. Snowden didn't know what to say and glanced at a newspaper that read: "Charles Lindberg Hops the Atlantic", and Showden replied, "Man, we're doing the Lindy Hop." But what has F. Scott Fitzgerald
got to do with Flappers?
What would make someone ‘great’? Jot down the 5 top most important aspects you consider that would make someone ‘great’. Fitzgerald begins the Great Gatsby with an epigraph:

“Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!" – Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

Epigraphs are like little appetizers to the entrée of a story. They illuminate important aspects of the story, and they get us headed in the right direction.
So what do we think about this epigraph?
What does Fitzgerald want us to ponder about his novel and the characters we are about to meet? Context (AO4) - Who is Thomas Parke D’Invilliers?

A character from Fitzgerald’s first novel, “This Side of Paradise”.

You should have noticed the Fairground language used in the epigraph Links to 1678 John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which introduced the idea of society as a ‘fair’.

Thackeray explains this metaphor in Bunyan’s novel, Vanity Fair (1847)
‘Vanity Fair is a very vain, wicked foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs, falsenesses and pretensions.’

Fitzgerald intended his short story ‘Absolution’ to be prologue to GG. Story was about a boy told to observe the amusement park but not get too close
or would ‘only feel the heat and the sweat and the life.’

What could this tell us about the story? You may have noticed on the last slide that there is a reference to the Assessment Objectives. Before we begin to read the novel, it seems it would be a good idea to introduce you to the AOs for your exam. As we read, I will make references to the AOs and you should use these to help you make effective notes for your revision next year. AO1 Critical Vocabulary
AO2 Narrative Methods
AO3 Independent Viewpoints
AO4 Context For now, we will mostly be focusing on AO2 to help shape our understanding of the novel. To help you, this is the advice given by the chief examiner on what AO2 requires.
AO2 is essentially about writers’ methods, but it is not methods for their own sake, but methods in relation to the stories being told and in relation to meanings that emerge from those stories. In order to meet this AO you will need to consider form, structure and language. These are seen as fluid and interactive.
In a paper about narrative, it is far more important to write about the structures of the stories and the voices that tell them than to write about single words, tropes, rhyme schemes and metrical patterns. AO2 is not about feature spotting since this does not show how stories are told. So what are we looking for?

Narrative perspective/Voices

Most importantly, we need to consider narrative perspectives or voices. This is about who is telling us the story and why the writer has made this choice. Writers spend time considering which voice would best tell their story. It is down to you to evaluate the effectiveness of this choice in telling the story. Structure

When discussing stories it is crucial that you
consider the structure of the chapter, poem or
novel you are writing about. Structure deals with how the story begins, end, key events, foreshdowing, echoes etc. Begin
Key event
Build up
Proleptic (anticipates)
Prolepsis (anticipation)
Looks back/forward
Rhyme scheme
Title (in structural sense)
Reverberates Setting

This deals with where the writer has chosen
to set his story and the impact this has on
the story being told. The setting is crucial as
it is often used sybolically or to signify the importance of key events. Setting can be
discussed in terms of place, time or even the
weather. Form

Identifying the form is usually quite straight-forward and when analysing chapters in a novel the form is usually consistent. Form can be discussed in terms of genre, so it may be romantic, tragic, a
bildungsroman etc. Poems may have a specific
and identifiable form such as a sonnet or
ballad or may have a rigid or a loose rhyme
scheme etc. But it not worthwhile to
simply identify the form, you must
discuss the form in terms of how it is
used to tell the story. Language

Language is last on the list and this
may seem unusual, but it is important
to highlight that in an exam on
narrative, the examiner is far
more interested in your
evaluation of structure and
voice than of single words
or tropes. Nevertheless, you do need to consider language for AO2, so how do we discuss language in relation to the story?
You will need to consider the use of symbolism, or the language used by the ‘voice’ and why e.g. cynical, sentimental, intradiegetic, sensuous, poetic diction, colloquial etc, use of dialogue, descriptive detail etc. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you may discuss other language devices but only if you do so in relation to the story being told. If we are going to write about story and
narrative methods, the first thing we
need to do is 'pin down' the story.
Briefly summarising the story told
in the named chapter or poem
will help you to understand
why the writer has used
certain methods to
tell this story. You have two minutes to read over the notes you have made. After this time, put away all your notes and summarise in your own words what you will need to identify for AO2 for every chapter of the novel or poem you study. Try to note down as much as possible to see how much information you have absorbed and where you will need to fill in gaps in your understanding.
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