F. Scott Fitzgerald • Fitzgerald grew up in the 20’s • Joined the Army • Zelda • The Great Gatsby 1924 • The importance of wealth • Zelda, Scottie and Paris • Everyone must have a downfall "That was always my experience—a poor boy in a rich town; a poor boy in a rich boy's school; a poor boy in a rich man's club at Princeton.... However, I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich, and it has colored my entire life and works." —F. Scott Fitzgerald "I married him because I thought he was a gentleman...I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe."
War Changes Men • "I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life."
Wealth • A booming stock market • Young, educated Americans with money to spend • Extravagance "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.“ "One thing's sure and nothing's surer/ The rich get richer and the poor get - children./ In the meantime,/ In between time--"
With wealth comes…..extravagance Nick (the narrator) on Daisy: “Her voice is full of money,” and the narrator Nick explains, “That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jungle of it, the cymbals’ song of it.” "It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy--it increased her value in his eyes."
Prohibition "I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."
The Automobile • Everyone MUST have an automobile! • “In the ditch beside the road, right side up, but violently shorn of one wheel, rested a new coupe’ which had left Gatsby’s drive not two minutes before.”
A Bit About The story • Nick Caraway is the narrator (watch for a bit ‘o Gatsby in Nick) • Story takes place in Manhattan (wealth) and West and East Egg • Between the city and the country lies the Valley of Ashes- an industrial wasteland
A Bit More • Nick moves to New York to become a bonds man. • Lives next door to Gatsby • Nick is cousins with Daisy • Nick is friends with Tom, Daisy’s wife
And Now The Plot Gets all Soap Opera On Us • Gatsby loves Daisy • Tom loves Myrtle (a woman he met at a gas station on the way to the city) • Nick doesn’t know what he wants (nor is he always truthful with himself)
Isn’t this the American Dream? • What constitutes a dream? • Has the concept of the American Dream changed much from the Roaring 20’s? • Can dreams be sold? • Is the American Dream linked to celebrity? • How much materialism exists behind the American Dream? • Do we define ourselves by what we own? • What values does American society hold?