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3/31/14. The Great Gatsby Introduction. Understanding the Times. Post WWI (1914-1918) Standard way of living increased for most Americans abandoned small towns in exchange for urban living Economy prospered as Americans tried to forget troubles of war. Roaring 20’s.

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3 31 14


The Great Gatsby Introduction

Understanding the times
Understanding the Times

  • Post WWI (1914-1918)

  • Standard way of living increased for most

  • Americans abandoned small towns in exchange for urban living

  • Economy prospered as Americans tried to forget troubles of war

Roaring 20 s
Roaring 20’s

  • People fascinated with materialism and consumerism / Americans are caught up in a "surge of materialism", people who had failed to grasp the meaning and significance of life.

  • Business, change and innovation, laissez faire- economy

  • Rapid growth of industry and mechanization effecting an even wider distribution of the blessing of civilizations : automobile

  • Even skeptics believed in progress and in solving of problems: new" Golden Age" for America

Spirit of the 20 s
Spirit of the 20’s

  • Fascination with the dream of success

  • Development of the cinema as a medium of entertainment

  • Popularity of jazz

  • Increased mobility brought about by the mass produced automobile

The jazz age
The Jazz Age

  • The era is also known as the Jazz Age, when the music called jazz, promoted by such recent inventions as the phonograph and the radio, swept up from New Orleans to capture the national imagination.

  • Improvised and wild, jazz broke the rules of music, just as the Jazz Age thumbed its nose at the rules of the past.

  • The philosophy of the Jazz Age was called “modernism."

Jazz age continued
Jazz Age Continued...

  • Literature and art denied foundations of the past and went for the new.

  • Jazz music set glorious standards – Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington

  • This was a period of pleasure seeking & reckless interest

  • Most of Fitzgerald’s stories provide a picture of youthful pleasure-seeking and the antics of the liberated young women known as “flappers”, affronting conventional values with short skirts, short hair and make-up.

The new woman
The New Woman

  • The 19th Amendment(1920) gave women the right to vote.

  • Among the rules broken were the age-old conventions guiding the behavior of women. The new woman demanded the right to vote and to work outside the home.

  • Symbolically, women would cut their hair into what was considered a boyish “bob” and bared their calves in the short skirts of the fashionable twenties “flapper.”


  • Flappers were women who rebelled against the fashion and social norms

  • They married at a later age and drank and smoked in public

  • Flappers were known for their carefree lifestyles.

Women continued
Women continued…

  • During the twenties 9 million women were employed and earned money on their own, many younger women used their money to enjoy themselves

  • Women breaking away from dedicated housewife role and living on their own

  • Feminism/Equal to men

Prohibition act
Prohibition Act

  • A rule often broken was the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, or Prohibition, which banned the public sale of alcoholic beverages from 1919 until its appeal in 1933.

  • Nightclubs and taverns that sold liquor were often raided, and gangsters made illegal fortunes as bootleggers, smuggling alcohol into America from abroad.

F scott fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Born-September 24, 1896

  • Died-December 21, 1940

  • Married Zelda Sayre

  • Famous works include The Great Gatsby , The Beautiful and the Damned, and Tender is the Night

F scott fitzgerald s impact on society
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Impact on Society

  • Fitzgerald named the 1920’s “The Jazz Age”

  • Wrote screenplays for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

  • Created The Great Gatsby which is said to be the most accurate description of the 1920’s and his magnum opus (Greatest work)

The great gatsby
The Great Gatsby

  • Set in the summer of 1922 in the West Egg of Long Island

  • Provides a critical social history of America during the Roaring Twenties within its narrative.

  •  The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his romantic passion for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.

Characters jay gatsby
Characters – Jay Gatsby

  • Jay Gatsby- The mysterious self-made wealthy man who lives next door to Nick Carraway and loves Daisy Buchanan


  • Nick Carraway- The narrator, Daisy’s cousin, and Gatsby’s neighbor


  • Daisy Buchanan- Married to Tom, Gatsby’s love interest before and after the war, socialite

Settings in gatsby
Settings in Gatsby

  • West Egg- where Nick and Gatsby live, represents new money

  • East Egg- where Daisy and Tom live, the more fashionable area, represents old money

Old money vs new money
Old Money Vs. New Money

  • New Money:

  • Someone who has achieved the American Dream

  • Not as respected in the 1920’s

  • Old Money

  • Money from family wealth

  • Born rich

  • Not earned through work done by yourself

  • Respected above all in the 1920’s

The american dream
The American Dream

  • A set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]