F. Scott Fitzgerald • Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896, Fitzgerald became the spokes person for the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s. • Highly educated in both religious and Ivy League schools, but never graduated. • Lived a rather uproarious lifestyle that ended, ironically, in depression and alcoholism
F. Scott Fitzgerald • In 1917, Fitzgerald entered into the war as a second lieutenant in the army. • While based in Alabama for a brief spell, he met and fell in love with Zelda Sayre. • Their relationship in many ways is replicated within the novel through Gatsby and Daisy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald • Despite several engagement breakoffs, they finally married in the fall of 1917. • Their marriage produced one daughter- Scottie, who did in 1986. • By the mid 1920s, Fitzgerald and his family moved to Europe and before long, Zelda began having an affair.
F. Scott Fitzgerald • After several years, Zelda battled alcoholism and was committed to an institution multiple times. • Eventually in December of 1940, Fitzgerald died after a lifelong battle with alcohol and a series of heart attacks.
The Great Gatsby • The novel was published in 1925 and reveals the wasted American Dream as it depicts the 1920s in America. • It reveals the clash if cultures from the time period. • The “carpe diem” lifestyle and vast popularity of the automobile made for a society very different from tradition.
The Great Gatsby • Nick Caraway- 30 year old narrator, moralist, becomes a foil to every character, lives next door to Gatsby. • Jay Gatsby- A romantic idealist, he devotes his life to gaining wealth which he believes will win him Daisy. • Daisy Buchannan- Nick’s cousin, Tom’s wife, and Gatsby’s dream girl. She is incapable of love and represents idolized upper class.
The Great Gatsby • Tom Buchannan- Daisy’s husband. He is incapable of feeling guilt or any other emotion, he represents brutality, the moral carelessness of the rich and racism. • Jordan Baker- a friend of Daisy’s. A young dishonest professional golfer who is ironically involved with Nick.
The Great Gatsby • George Wilson- proprietor of a garage in the Valley of Ashes. He represents the fate of the common working man. • Myrtle Wilson- George’s wife. Her vitality attracts Tom. She wants to escape her lower class status, yet has no sense of values.
Structure of the Novel • Written as a Frame Story from Nick’s POV. • Because Nick is a moralist, he can be seen as a reliable narrator. • The story is told through Nick’s flashbacks of his accounts of Gatsby. • The motif of rags-to-riches is prominent throughout the novel.
Frame Story- A Story told within another story • Flashback- a brief memory or account of a time from the past. • Motif- a recurring image or plot pattern in a story
Timeline of Gatsby Age 17- Gatsby meets Dan Cody and learns about the leisure class. 1918- Gatsby meets Daisy 1918- They almost marry 1918- by fall “she is gay again” June 1919- Daisy marries Tom Aug. 1919- Tom has an affair April 1920- Daisy and Tom have a daughter Aug. 1921- Nick comes back from War Spring 1922- Nick moves to West Egg Summer 1922- Novel plot Autumn 1922- Nick returns to the West.
Themes: Culture Clash EAST • Unfair • Corrupt • Materialistic • East Egg • Daisy and Tom • Think old money WEST • Fair • Innocent • Unsophisticated • Brought the Western Violence • West Egg • Reflects man’s dreams • Think new money
Themes: American Dream • Gatsby represents the American Dream and the self-made man of wealth and happiness. • Despite all of this, Gatsby ends up empty handed and alone. • Fitzgerald mimics the reality of the 1920s and its ideals lost behind the trappings of a class and material success.
Themes: Appearance and Reality • Since there is no real love between Gatsby and Daisy, there is no real truth in Gatsby’s vision. • Behind the money and parties, Gatsby is a lonely man that people only use for pleasure. • Gatsby’s greatness lies in his capacity for illusion.
Themes: Moral Corruption • The wealthy class is morally corrupt in The Great Gatsby. • There are no spiritual values and money reigns, there is no God, and the American Dream is direly corrupted. • The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg
Important Things • POV- first person, Nick Caraway • Setting- East and West Egg ( upper class society) The Valley of Ashes (mechanical world, industry, past life is destroyed) • Satire of Rich Society and the American Dream • Light/ Dark Imagery