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The Moderns 1914-1939.

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Presentation on theme: "The Moderns 1914-1939."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Moderns

2 Review The American Dream

3 The American Dream America is a New Eden
A land of beauty, bounty and unlimited promise Look for both the promise and the disappointment of this idea in The Great Gatsby Optimism Progress is expected – life will always keep getting better and better The independent, self-reliant individual will triumph The American Dream

4 History The Great Depression Women’s Rights
World War I The Great Depression Women’s Rights The Jazz Age/ The Roaring Twenties Sigmund Freud Radio and Movies The Harlem Renaissance Modernism

5 The Great War WW I

6 Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria & Turkey versus the Allies (France, Great Britain, Russia, US & Italy*) It was the first global war Fought for humanity and democracy 50 million lives were lost Although, America emerged as a victor, at home its values were being challenged World War I

7 Women In 1920, women won the right to vote
New found status and postwar change caused many women to wear modern fashions, including short skirts, and bob their hair Flappers shocked society by cutting their hair, raising hemlines, wearing makeup, smoking, drinking, and dancing During the 1920s women joined the workforce in large numbers, though mostly in the lowest-paying professions Women attended college in greater numbers Women


9 Economy The Great Depression, 1929 Marxism
Followed the crash of the NY stock market 1/4 to 1/3 of American workers were unemployed People waited in bread and soup lines, got food from garbage dumps, and slept in sewer pipes The homeless also lived in tents and shacks in camps called Hoovervilles Marxism Promoted a classless society Against capitalism Spurred the Russian Revolution Economy



12 Science & Technology Darwin - evolution
Einstein – Theory of Relativity Henry Ford – assembly line production and the Model T electric irons, toasters, refrigerators, air-conditioners, radio, television and vacuum cleaners Science & Technology

13 Psychology Sigmund Freud Literary Result Founder of psychoanalysis
Opened the works of the unconscious mind to scrutiny Called for a new understanding of human sexuality What about free will? Literary Result Stream of consciousness – a writing style that attempts to imitate the moment-by-moment flow of a character’s perceptions of memories Abandons chronology Katherine Anne Porter and William Faulkner Psychology

14 The Jazz Age/ The Roaring Twenties
Prohibition of alcohol ushered in an age characterized by the bootlegger, the speak-easy, the cocktail, the flapper, the new rhythms of jazz, and the gangster Expatriates - American writers and artists who abandoned their homeland to live abroad Signal that something truly was wrong with the American Dream Wealth, materialism, and excess The Great Gatsby The Jazz Age/ The Roaring Twenties

15 Jazzy Talk -Twenties Slang
Gee I wish a torpedo would bump off this flat tire All Wet - wrong Bee’s Knees - a superb person Big Cheese -an important person Bump Off - to murder Dumb Dora - a stupid girl Flat Tire - a dull, boring person Gam - a girls leg Hooch - bootleg liquor Hoofer - chorus girl Torpedo - a hired gunman Dumb Dora

16 Speakeasy Marion Harris

17 The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance refers to the flowering of African American intellectual life during the 1920s and 1930s Broad movement of arts Centered in Harlem, a neighborhood in NYC The Harlem Renaissance

18 Entertainment Radio Movies
Most Americans owned a radio in the 1930s, the primary source for news and entertainment Movies Slapstick comedies, Romantic musicals, and cartoons 1939 – Gone With the Wind Entertainment

19 American Literature Modernism The Harlem Renaissance Poets
Langston Hughes Countee Cullen Claude McKay Nikki Giovanni Gwendolyn Brooks F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby Ernest Hemingway – New American hero Robert Frost EudoraWelty Because of the war and Depression, the voices of American authors became more cynical and they rejected traditional themes and styles.

20 Modernism Movement in literature, painting, music and other arts swept along by disillusionment with tradition


22 Joseph Stella's Brooklyn Bridge

23 Emphasis on bold experimentation in style and form, reflecting the fragmentation of society
Rejections of traditional themes, subjects and forms Sense of disillusionment with and loss of faith in the American Dream Rejection of the ideal of a hero as infallible in favor of a hero who is flawed and disillusioned but shows “grace under pressure” Interest in the inner workings of the human mind, sometimes expressed through new narrative techniques, such as stream of consciousness Revolt against the spiritual debasement of the modern world Elements of Modernism

24 The last traces of British influence on American poetry were washed away
American poets’ most dazzling period of experimentation – new ways to see and represent reality Style Symbolism Imagism Robert Frost Rejected modernism, but gave old poetic forms a new twist Poetry

25 A form of expression in which the world of appearances is violently rearranged by artists who seek a different and more truthful version of reality A new manifestation of Romanticism Imagination, intuition, emotion, mystery Symbolism

26 Poetry can be made purer by concentration on the precise, clear, unqualified image
The exact word No elaborate metrics or stanza patterns Imagism

27 Poetry without regular rhyming and metrical patterns
Free Verse

28 The Harlem Renaissance
African American poetry based its rhythms on spirituals and jazz based its lyrics on songs known as the blues based its diction on the street talk of the ghettos The Harlem Renaissance

29 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

30 F. Scott Fitzgerald The Early Years 1896-1940
Born in Minnesota, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald Lived in a rich area, but was comfortable, not rich Attended prep school Went to Princeton University, but did not graduate Joined the army

31 F. Scott Fitzgerald Adulthood
1918 – fell in love with debutante Zelda Sayre She refused marriage until Scott could provide for her (she grew up wealthy) 1919 – the publication of This Side of Paradise allowed Scott and Zelda to marry in NY He and Zelda were associated with high living of the Jazz Age 1921 – Daughter, Scottie

32 F. Scott Fitzgerald Troubled Times Alcoholism Financial difficulties
Mental illness Sheila Graham Hollywood Died with a degraded reputation 1960s – reputation restored

33 F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby Published in 1925
Explores life in the early to mid-1920s It is a snapshot of the post-war society known as the Jazz Age Setting – summer of 1922 on Long Island and in NYC Contains autobiographical elements of Fitzgerald’s life

34 The Great Gatsby Major Characters F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay Gatsby – “new money” made from prohibition Daisy Buchanan – beautiful, sexy, and privileged Nick Carraway – Jay’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin; the narrator Tom Buchanan – “old money” from Chicago; Daisy’s brutish, racist, and loose husband

35 The Great Gatsby Narration F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrator  · Nick Carraway; also implies that he is the book’s author Point of view  · Nick Carraway narrates in both first and third person, presenting only what he himself observes. Sometimes he presents objectively, sometimes he adds his interpretation of characters and events Tone  · Nick’s attitudes toward Gatsby and Gatsby’s story are ambivalent and contradictory. At times he seems to disapprove of Gatsby, but he also romanticizes and admires Gatsby.

36 The Great Gatsby Themes and Motifs F. Scott Fitzgerald
The decline of the American dream Honesty Decay Cars and Driving Society and class Ashes/Dust Love Time and Clocks Wealth – new and old Parties and alcohol Memory and the Past Crime Dissatisfaction Isolation Mortality Marriage Gender Education Lies and Deceit Religion Violence

37 The Great Gatsby Symbolism F. Scott Fitzgerald
Yellow (Silver & Gold) - Wealth, corruption, dishonesty White - Façade behind which characters hide; beauty, cleanliness, wealth, innocence, virginity and laziness Green - Hope, rebirth, to “go”, youth, longing, choice, serenity Blue - Heaven, fantasy, lost time, unhappiness Grey - Industrialization, dreary, bleak, lifeless Red - Death, abuse, violence, destruction Water - Barriers and boundaries; Gatsby’s restraints from Daisy; Abandonment Eyes - Observant, omnipresent, watchful, non- judgmental Cars - Industrialization, status symbol, carelessness, recklessness Eggs (White covered by yellow) - Pure façade, while rotten inside

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