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The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald

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1 The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why read The Great Gatsby? An Intertwining of Life and Work

2 Why get to know Fitzgerald?
During the 1920s, Fitzgerald was a very public figure. It was not always easy to tell when his life provided inspiration for his fiction and when his fiction inspired inspiration for his life. His life was so intertwined with his writing that it makes sense to know some biographical information so that we can better understand The Great Gatsby

3 First, some basics Fitzgerald was a prominent American novelist and short story writer who wrote between the 1920s and 1940s Many of his texts feature the Jazz Age of the Roaring 20s Fitzgerald is considered a member of “The Lost Generation.” (remember what this is?)

4 $$$ Fitzgerald’s father’s relatives had high culture and tradition
Fitzgerald’s mother’s relatives had money but no high culture and tradition Fitzgerald became highly conscious of both money and social standing Throughout his life, Fitzgerald held conflcting views of money and conventional status symbols This understanding will help us when we encounter the interactions of Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, and Nick Carraway.

5 ♥ ♥ ♥ Throughout high school and college, Fitzgerald had his heart broken many times. While stationed in Montgomery, Alabama as an army officer, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre. Zelda Sayre was the daughter of a prominent but emotionally unstable family. She was selfish, whimsical, and irresistible. Zelda and Scott were married in 1920. This will help our understandings when we encounter the female characters of the novel, particularly Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker. In a sense, Zelda became the model for many of Fitzgerald’s heroines.

6 ♪ ♪ ♪ Zelda and Fitzgerald maintained very public lives.
They often threw parties featuring illegal alcohol and frequented speakeasies. The are known to have wrecked many cars and in general doing what they wanted regardless of social concern. Keep this in mind when we encounter parties, cars, and scandals in the novel.

7    While Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, Zelda had an affair with Edourd Jozan, a young French military officer. After much drama, she attempted suicide and Fitzgerald desperately saved her life. Their marriage was never the same. Consider this when reading about certain plot events in the novel. In a sense, The Great Gatsby is a story of adultery.

8 After learning a little bit about the life and work of Fitzgerald, what can we guess?
What do you think some of the themes in The Great Gatsby might be? Who do you think are some of the main characters? What do you think they are like?

9 Sources: (party picture)
(Cover art) (Fitzgerald) Understanding The Great Gatsby: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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