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The Moderns 1914-1939. Review The American Dream.

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

1 The Moderns

2 Review The American Dream

3 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 World War I The Great Depression Womens 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 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 The Great Depression, 1929 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 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 Sigmund Freud 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 characters perceptions of memories Abandons chronology Katherine Anne Porter and William Faulkner Psychology

14 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 All Wet - wrong Bees 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 Gee I wish a torpedo would bump off this flat tire Dumb Dora

16 Speakeasy Marion Harris

17 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 Radio 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 HughesCountee Cullen Claude McKayNikki 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 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 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 The Early Years

31 F. Scott Fitzgerald 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 Adulthood

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

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 Fitzgeralds life

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

35 F. Scott Fitzgerald Narrator · Nick Carraway; also implies that he is the books 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 · Nicks attitudes toward Gatsby and Gatsbys story are ambivalent and contradictory. At times he seems to disapprove of Gatsby, but he also romanticizes and admires Gatsby. The Great Gatsby Narration

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

37 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; Gatsbys 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 The Great Gatsby Symbolism

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