Intro to Fitzgerald
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Intro to Fitzgerald






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  • Appears as characters in stories- she is in one of the ones we are reading, we’ll see if you guys can catch it
  • Though she came from a prestigious family, like Emily Rose, she was not your typical southern bell
  • They had a kid, which only slowed them down. There lives became very alcoholic and very chaoltic- finally, they moved to Europe, where Fitzgerald write The Great Gatsby
  • Convinced Zelda to marry him- got engaged He went to NYC to try and provide for her She broke it off He was devastated- moved back to Minnesota and threw himself into writing his first novel (this side of paradise) Became an instant celebrity for this and won the beautiful Zelda back

Intro to Fitzgerald Intro to Fitzgerald Presentation Transcript

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
  • The Roaring ‘20’s
    • In the period following WWI, Americans were desperate for a good time.
    • Fitzgerald did not simply write about the 1920’s… he helped to shape the decade.
    • Through writing, Fitzgerald deemed the 1920’s “the jazz age.”
    • YouTube
  • Early Life
    • Born in St Paul
    • Father wasn’t much of a businessman
    • Young Fitzgerald resolved he would never be a failure.
    • Mother came from a well-off family: felt like a poor boy amongst rich kids.
    • Eventually used his talent to gain acceptance in private school.
  • Desire for Glory
    • Fitz would often write plays, cast himself as the star, and recruit people he wanted as friends.
    • In 1913, Fitz was accepted at Princeton
    • After he dropped out in 1917, he enlisted, with dreams of being a war hero- missed his chance
    • Finally threw himself into writing
  • His First Love…
    • During his time at Princeton, he met a real “golden girl.”
    • Ginevra King- socialite
    • He desired her, but could not attain her.
    • Fitzgerald fell hard for this woman, but was eventually dumped because of social status.
    • Fitzgerald bases many characters on her- one is in the first story we are reading
    • YouTube
  • Zelda Sayre
    • Shortly after, he met Zelda Sayre- his golden girl
    • Fitzgerald’s characterization often mirrors his experience with his Zelda.
    • When they first met, Zelda was considered a young Southern bell- a darling- from Montgomery, Alabama
  • … not your “Emily Grierson”
    • Zelda was wild.
    • She was a flapper- she flopped convention, stayed out all night, indulged in alcohol and music.
    • She and Fitzgerald became icons of The Jazz Age.
  • Europe
    • They eventually had a child, which only slowed them down.
    • Their lives became “very alcoholic and very chaotic.”
    • Eventually moved to Europe, where Scott threw himself into writing the Great Gatsby and Zelda had an affair.
    • He felt betrayed- never quite recovered.
  • Downward Spiral
    • As the decade came to a close and America entered the Great depression, Scott and Zelda entered the worst stage of their relationship.
    • Zelda’s mental health deteriorated quickly- she was diagnosed with schizophrenia
    • He wrote a 4th novel, which he spent 9 years revising.
    • Again, the book was largely based on his life, but failed… people could not longer relate!
  • The Bitter End
    • Continued to write novels, but they largely failed during the era of the depression
    • Drank more than ever
    • Described himself as emotionally bankrupt
    • Finally died of a massive heart attack at 44
    • Zelda could not be there, but was buried next to Scott
    • Around the 1950s, people rediscovered his books. Gatsby alone now sells over 300,000 copies a year
  • Prompts
    • What is the American dream?
    • Has the dream changed since the 1920’s?
    • Is there a dark side to success and wealth?