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F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age

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1 F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age

2 The Roaring 20’s The 20’s are also referred to as “The Jazz Age,” a term coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Jazz Age began with the end of WWI, at a time when, for the first time, the U.S. had emerged as a world power. The Jazz Age ended with the stock market crash of 1929. This decade saw changes in lifestyle and technology that revolutionized American life in such a way that it has never been the same since.


4 The Great Gatsby Era in America
Model-T became a way of life and people could travel as never before Mail order catalogues, such as Sears, came out and Americans had access to world’s biggest stores Hollywood was becoming a factory of the world’s daydreams; Wall Street – the world’s money mart Americans became obsessed with the frivolous: alcohol, music, dancing, and sex

5 F. Scott Fitzgerald said to be representative of the American viewpoint because: He was one of America’s greatest dreamers. He reflected America’s exaggerated hopes and dreams, especially The American Dream. He was self-indulgent. He was passionate and committed and he died “with his boots on.”

6 F. Scott Fitzgerald Chronology
Born Sept. 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Full name Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald His early life is shaped by the fact that his mother’s family is wealthy but his father is unsuccessful at business so money is always an issue. He is poor but he attends prep. schools which make him feel like an outsider.

7 Enters Princeton University in 1913
Enters Princeton University in Tries, unsuccessfully, to play for the football team. Writes for the Princeton Tiger and begins to write and act in plays. Impresses peers this way. Falls in love with Genevra King, a wealthy young socialite but is rejected. He is not wealthy enough. 1915--drops out of Princeton 1916--returns to Princeton

8 1917—is placed on academic probation. Joins the army as
a second lieutenant. First novel attempt, The Romantic Egoist, is rejected 1918--meets and falls in love with wealthy socialite Zelda Sayre. They become engaged. Theirs is one of the great love story of their time! 1919--End of WWI--Fitzgerald is discharged from the army. Zelda breaks off engagement due to Fitzgerald’s lack of financial success. 1919--Working in advertising, Fitzgerald is living with his parents and writing 1919--Writes and submits novel This Side of Paradise. It is accepted by Scribners, and it is a huge success. Fitzgerald and Zelda marry!

9 This Side of Paradise captured the hopes of success of Americans but also the fears of failure and poverty. NOTE: * A reoccurring theme that runs throughout Fitzgerald’s best works is that happiness and success are unattainable.

10 “He could glamorize wealth and yet stand away from the people who had it – and look at their values with utter detachment and sometimes with horror.”

11 Early Stumblings Fall, 1922: The young family moves to Great Neck, NY, expecting to earn a lot of money from Scott’s play, The Vegetable. 1923: The play bombs, and Scott has to write short stories to get out of debt. Scott’s drinking increases. He and Zelda fight often.

12 Gatsby is Born Spring 1924: The Fitzgeralds go to France.
Summer 1924: Scott starts writing The Great Gatsby. Zelda has a relationship with a French pilot. Winter : The Fitzgeralds go to Rome where Scott revises Gatsby. April Gatsby is published. Critical reviews are positive, but sales remain low.

13 Fitzgerald and the Expatriates
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.

14 During the next 5-10 years, Zelda and F
During the next 5-10 years, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald are at the center of Jazz Age culture, and regularly appear in gossip magazines. They were the talk of the town! What was their life like? She was wild! Some would say CRAZY! He was an alcoholic! They partied hard! He worked hard also. They both had affairs but loved each other deeply!

15 Works written by F. Scott Fitzgerald during this period:
1922--The Beautiful and the Damned 1922--Tales of the Jazz Age (short stories) 1923--The Vegetable (a play) 1925--The Great Gatsby – the defining novel of the 20’s 1934--Tender is the Night (last finished novel) is unpopular because it is published after the start of The Great Depression and it is about people with money. People didn’t want to read about success and excess when they didn’t have enough! His unfinished novel is The Last Tycoon about Hollywood

16 1930--Suffering her first of many emotional breakdowns, Zelda is hospitalized in Paris. Later diagnosed with schizophrenia. 1932--As his popularity as a novelist declines, Fitzgerald begins to work on movie scripts for MGM to work himself out of debt. He despises Hollywood, and despises himself for having to write “commercially.” As Zelda’s mental state worsens, the Fitzgeralds gradually separate. 1940--F. Scott Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack. —Zelda Fitzgerald spends next eight years in and out of institutions and dies in a fire at Highland Hospital in Ashland, NC in 1948.

17 This quote describing Gatsby at the end of his novel could just as easily describe Fitzgerald himself. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther And one fine morning ”

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