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F. Scott Fitzgerald and the 1920’s The Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age
About the Author • Born-September 24, 1896 • Died-December 21, 1940 • Married Zelda Sayre • born in St. Paul, Minnesota spent four years at Princeton, left before graduating to join the army during WWI • first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920) an autobiographical piece that made him temporarily rich and famous • later in 1920, married Zelda Sayre she was also an aspiring writer
Author: cont. • they lived an extravagant life in New York City and Fitzgerald tried to support them with writing • 1924 they moved to Europe because it was cheaper to live there he met Ernest Hemingway • published The Great Gatsby (1925) which was a critical success but not a financial success
Author cont. • problems: • debts • alcoholism • first of Zelda’s mental breakdowns (1930) • returned to U.S. and wrote Tender is the Night (1934) which led to his own breakdown • wrote screen plays for Hollywood (1937-1940) • Zelda confined to a mental hospital in North Carolina
Background of the 1920s • World War I ended in 1918-Disillusioned because of the war, this new generation was also referred to as the lost generation. • Farms started to struggle post WWI: 6 million people moved to the urban area; more people lived in the cities than the rural areas. • Urban life was filled with money makers and pleasure seekers. • Rural life was considered to be safe, with close personal ties, hard work and morals. • There was the suburban boom with trolleys, street cars, etc. .
Changes in Demographics African Americans were moving north. Why? Jim Crow laws New job opportunities in north 1860 – 93% in south 1930 – 80% in south Faced hatred from whites Forced low wages Other Migration: Post World War I: European refugees to America Limited immigration in 1920s from Europe and Asia. Employers turned to Mexican and Canadian immigrants to work.
The Roaring Twenties • This sense of loss resulted in America throwing itself headlong into a decade of frivolous behavior and materialism known as The Roaring Twenties. • A carefree time of wild parties, illegal drinking, and extravagant lifestyles. • A time of change in fashion and music Jazz Age and saxophone
Jazz Age Prohibition was in effect-the restricted sale and use of liquor • original purpose was to abolish saloons which were thought to be immoral and dangerous to society • brought about bootleggers • people who made and sold liquor illegally • they often ran drugstores and other “front” businesses just to sell liquor
Gambling Illegal gambling existed: Perhaps the worst scandal involving gambling was the Black Sox scandal of 1919 in which 8 members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted for accepting bribes to throw the World Series.
The Woman of the 1920s • After WWI, Americans were looking for a little fun in the 1920s. • Women were independent and achieving greater freedom: right to vote, more employment. (Entered workforce as nurses, teachers, librarians and secretaries) Still earned less than men and certain jobs were not available to them.
The Automobile • The Jazz Age was also an era of reckless spending and consumption. The flashy new automobile was the status symbol of the time. • Advertising was becoming the major industry that it is today, and soon advertisers took advantage of new roadways by setting up huge billboards at their sides. • Both the automobile and a bizarre billboard play important roles in The Great Gatsby.
The Flapper • A flapper was an emancipated young woman who embraced the new urban fashions and urban attitudes-rebelled against the norms of the 1900’s. • Drank and smoked in public and married at a later age. • Lived a carefree lifestyle. • Hairstyle fashionable at the time-the bob. bob.
Old Money vs. New Money New Money Old Money • Someone who has Money from family wealth achieved the American Born rich dream Not earned through work • Not as respected in done by yourself the 1920s Respected above all in the 1920s