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The Great Gatsby/The Roaring Twenties
Transcript of The Great Gatsby/The Roaring Twenties
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
Set in New York City and Long Island in the fall of 1922.
The story takes place after World War I.
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s
Shallowness of the Wealthy
Coined the term "Jazz Age"
Born in 1896 in Minnesota, but spent the first decade of his childhood in Buffalo, New York.
From an upper middle class Irish Catholic family.
Attended Princeton University
Fitzgerald's intense focus on his writing ended in his academic probation, and in 1917 he dropped out of school to join the U.S. Army.
The war ended in 1918, before Fitzgerald was ever deployed.
After the WWI Fitzgerald moved to New York City hoping to launch a career in advertising lucrative enough to convince Zelda to marry him.
Nick Carraway (narrator)
1. Where was F. Scott Fitzgerald born?
2. What was the name of Fitzgerald's wife?
3. How many children did Fitzgerald have?
4. Was Fitzgerald ever deployed during WWI?
5. Why was Fitzgerald's wife sent to a "hospital"?
6. Which university did Fitzgerald attend?
7. Did Fitzgerald graduate from college?
8. Which European country did the Fitzgerald's live for a time?
9. What happens to the relationship between Fitzgerald and his wife?
10. What substance related problem does Fitzgerald exhibit?
11. Provide two traits/characteristics of Nick Carraway.
12. Provide two traits/characteristics of Jay Gatsby.
13. Provide two traits/characteristics of Daisy Buchanan.
14. Provide two traits/characteristics of Tom Buchanan.
15. Provide two traits/characteristics of Jordan Baker.
16. Provide two traits/characteristics of George Wilson.
17. Provide two traits/characteristics of Myrtle Wilson.
18. Provide two traits/characteristics of Meyer Wolfsheim.
19. What are the two major themes of the novel The Great Gatsby?
20. Based on the video clip of the movie The Great Gatsby,make a prediction about the plot of the book.
Zelda (Sayre) Fitzgerald
While at a country club, Fitzgerald fell in love with Zelda Sayre (1900–1948), the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge and the "golden girl," in Fitzgerald's terms, of Montgomery youth society.
Zelda accepted his marriage proposal, but he was unable to convince her that he would be able to support her, leading her to break off the engagement.
Fitzgerald and Zelda were married in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Their daughter (only child), Frances Scott "Scottie" Fitzgerald, was born on October 26, 1921.
THE GREAT GATSBY
Published in 1925
Snapshot of the “roaring” 1920s
Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby’s (protagonist)downfall as a critique of the reckless indulgence of Roaring Twenties America.
Tells a story of greed, aristocracy, civilization’s decline, broken dreams, death and murder.
The Valley of Ashes
The Eyes and Eyeglasses (T.J. Eckleberg)
The Green Light (at the end of Daisy's dock)
During the mid 1920’s in Paris, Fitzgerald becomes part of the group of expatriate American writers which included Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound.
During the 1920’s, Scott and Zelda’s relationship continues to be strained due to his drinking and her mental instability.
They live in Paris, the Riviera, and a mansion near Wilmington, DE.
The Fitzgeralds rent a house in Montgomery, AL in 1931.
Scott makes an unsuccessful trip to Hollywood; Zelda suffers a mental breakdown in 1932 and is hospitalized.
1936-37: Scott drinks, gets into more debt, and lives in hotels near Asheville, NC. Zelda enters a nearby hospital.
Summer 1937: Fitzgerald goes to Hollywood with a screenwriting contract earning $1,000/ week. Despite earning $91,000 from MGM, he is unable to save any money.
1938: He falls in love with Sheilah Graham, a movie columnist.
Dec 21, 1940: Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack in Graham’s apartment.
1948: Zelda dies in a fire at Highland Hospital.
F.Scott Fitzgerald CONT'D
Fitzgerald returned to his parents' house and revises his first novel This Side of Paradise, about the post-WWI flapper generation.
Scott was so low on finances that he took up a job repairing car roofs.
This Side of Paradise receives great success.
Scott & Zelda begin to live as young celebrities, socializing and drinking heavily.
Scott’s drinking increases. He and Zelda fight often.
Spring 1924: The Fitzgeralds go to France.
Summer 1924: Scott starts writing The Great Gatsby. Zelda has a relationship with a French pilot.
April 1925. Gatsby is published. Critical reviews are positive, but sales remain low.
Nick’s wealthy neighbor in West Egg. Gatsby owns a gigantic mansion and has become well known for hosting large parties every Saturday night.
Gatsby is a self-made man (his birth name was Jay Gatz) who achieved the American Dream of rising up from the lower classes to the top of society.
Gatsby’s lust for wealth stems from his desire to win back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan.
A young man from Minnesota who has come to New York after graduating Yale and fighting in World War I, Nick is the neighbor of Jay Gatsby and the cousin of Daisy Buchanan.
Jay Gatsby met and fell in love with while in military training in Louisville, Kentucky before WW I.
Tom Buchanan’s wife
She lacks conviction and sincerity, and values material things over all else. Yet Daisy isn’t just a shallow gold digger. She’s more tragic: a loving woman who has been corrupted by greed.
She chooses the comfort and security of money over real love, but she does so knowingly.
Daisy’s tragedy conveys the alarming extent to which the lust for money captivated Americans during the Roaring Twenties.
A former football player and Yale graduate who marries Daisy Buchanan.
The oldest son of an extremely wealthy and successful “old money” East Egg family.
Tom has a veneer of gentlemanly manners that barely veils a self-centered, sexist, racist, violent ogre of a man beneath.
A friend of Daisy’s who becomes Nick’s girlfriend.
A successful pro golfer, Jordan is beautiful and pleasant, but does not inspire Nick to feel much more than a “tender curiosity” for her.
Baker is “incurably dishonest” and cheats at golf.
There is some suggestion in the novel that she loves Nick, and that he misjudges her.
The wife of George Wilson and the mistress of Tom Buchanan.
Myrtle disdains her beaten down husband and desperately wants to improve her lot in life.
She chooses Tom as the means to this end, but he sees her as little more than an object.
George B. Wilson
The husband of Myrtle Wilson and the owner of an auto garage in the Valley of Ashes.
Wilson is a beaten-down man, who nevertheless loves and adores his wife.
Her affair with Tom drives Wilson to the edge
Gatsby’s business partner and friend.
A small, fifty-year-old Jewish man with hairy nostrils and beady eyes.
Wolfsheim is a gambler who made his name in organized crime by fixing the 1919 World Series.