Presentation on theme: "F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) Author of The Great Gatsby."— Presentation transcript:
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) Author of The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald Bio. (1896-1940) Born Frances Scott Key Fitzgerald (after distant relative) in St. Paul, Minnesota; Midwesterner whose family had social pretensions, but not enough money; charm and good looks; traveled in best social circles; aware of gap in wealth Attended Princeton moved East; popular; wrote for drama society Spent time in military; met and fell in love with Southern belle Zelda Sayre in Montgomery, AL Lived poor life in East trying to be successful writer
First novel (This Side of Paradise) in March 1920 (Age 24), made him famous almost overnight at 24; voice of young people; earns large sums for short stories Bio. cont’d.
F. Scott & Zelda Engaged to Zelda Sayre when he had a potentially successful novel Zelda broke off their engagement, unwilling to live on a small salary. A week after This Side of Paradise published, Zelda married him in New York.
F. Scott & Zelda,cont’d. Both became young celebrities He gained a reputation as a drinker, and they spent money faster than he earned it (he wrote about the effects of money on character but was unable to manage his own finances)
Their life in the 1920s Continued publishing novels, plays in the 20s Had only child in 1921 daughter Francis Scott (Scottie) The Great Gatsby published in 1925 Fitzgerald became identified with “The Jazz Age,” which he helped to name. Dazzling couple; partied, drove, drank, spent money recklessly; expatriates in Europe
Zelda and F. Scott
Zelda Had “involvement” with French man in 1924 In 1928, started ballet training to become a professional dancer In April 1930, suffered her first breakdown; treated at clinic in Switzerland till Sept. 1931 Suffered relapse in February 1932 and spent the rest of her life as a resident or outpatient of sanitariums In 1932, wrote Save Me the Waltz, autobiographical novel; he thought it was taking the material he was using in his novel-in-progress In 1948, died in a fire at a hospital.
His Stories Thought through hard work and gifts he could join “charmed circles”; wrote about ambitions of youth, special magic of rich Hectic charm of 20s Flaming youth and wild parties “Lost Generation” disillusioned with WWI Fallen ideals and obsessions with sensation Aspirations end with the Crash in 1929; his career and finances falter
The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby marked a striking advance in Fitzgerald's technique, utilizing a complex structure and a controlled narrative point of view. Fitzgerald's achievement received critical praise, but sales of Gatsby were disappointing, though the stage and movie rights brought additional income.
Setting for Gatsby
Tom and Daisy’s Mansion
Ballroom in Gatsby’s Mansion
Fitzgerald’s Death Died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940 while working on his Hollywood novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon Died believing himself a failure, a sellout to Hollywood Became famous again in the 1950s-60s
His Life as a Parable He dreams of becoming rich and famous; when he succeeds he is destroyed by his dreams Realizes his gifts early; burns out early
January Jan. 17—Prohibition begins. 18th Amendment prohibits making, selling, possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages. (repealed in 1933) Timeline: 1920 March 26— Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, his first novel, is published March Aug. 26— Women’s Suffrage victorious. 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. August Sept. 1920—8 members of the Chicago White Sox accused of conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series as part of deal with gamblers. September
March 25— Women's fashions deemed so revealing that Catholic Pope Pius XI urges a campaign against them April 10—The Great Gatsby published; acclaimed by critics, but was not a popular success in its day. May 5—Scopes Trial Oct. 29—The U.S. stock market crashes on "Black Tuesday," The crash, combined with other negative factors in the U.S. and world economies, brings to an end the decade of the 1920s and starts the Great Depression. Timeline: 1921-1929 1922 1925 1929
The 192os The Jazz Age The Roaring Twenties Speakeasies: Secret illegal bars Flappers: Outspoken young women with boyish manners and dress. ( modeled their style based on the look of French prostitutes)
Modernism (1900-1950) Response to industrialization, WWI, major economic changes, world politics– the stuff that made us all what we are now Society (and literature) full of contradictory elements (both free and repressed, both traditional and anti-traditional, democratic and elitist, patriotic and critical) The individual is alienated from others and even him/herself Alienation leads to awareness about one’s inner life
The Lost Generation "you are all a lost generation" (Gertrude Stein said to Ernest Hemingway) The intellectuals, artists, and writers who rejected the values of post WWI America and moved to Paris They searched for meaning, drank excessively, had love affairs, and created some of the best American literature One of the first “countercultures” Earliest expressers of the themes of spiritual alienation, self-exile, and cultural criticism The fact that so many great minds ex-patriated and then made art out of it should show there was something wrong with the “American Dream”
What To Look For As You Read Gatsby Elements of feminism Which characters have power in this book and why Characterization and motivation Judgments and criticism (both said and unsaid) Contradictions How the book both proves and denies the American Dream Things you think might be symbolic How this book “most” represents modern America