F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography• Fitzgerald was named after his distant relative, Francis Scott Key.• Fitzgerald was born into an upper middle class family. He split his childhood between New York and Minnesota.• Fitzgerald attended three different preparatory schools before entering Princeton University in 1913.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography• Fitzgerald was a mediocre student at best and spent more time in the Princeton Triangle Club (a campus theatre group) than he spent on his studies.• In his senior year Fitzgerald dropped out of school rather than flunk out.• Upon dropping out Fitzgerald enlisted in the United States Army after the United States entered World War I.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography• While in the army Fitzgerald wrote the novel The Romantic Egoist. Though his writing was praised the novel was rejected by publishers.• The war ended shortly after Fitzgerald’s enlistment.
Art Imitates Life• While stationed at Camp Sheridan (Montgomery, Alabama) Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre (1900 – 1948).• Zelda was a member of Alabama society and the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.• Fitzgerald took a job working in advertising after the war and became engaged to Zelda.• Feeling that he could not support the two, Zelda broke off the engagement.
Art Imitates Life• Fitzgerald moved back to Minnesota to work on rejected novel The Romantic Egoist.• He adapted the novel to This Side of Paradise.• The novel was published later the same year and became one of the most popular novels of the year.• Fitzgerald became an instant celebrity and resumed his engagement with Zelda.
The American Dream- Instant Celebrity• In 1921 Frances Scott “Scottie” Fitzgerald was born.• Having a child did not slow down the extravagant lifestyle that Zelda and Fitzgerald shared.• Fitzgerald is credited with creating the term “The Jazz Age”, he and Zelda would attend wild parties and spend time with many popular celebrities of the time.
Modernists• Fitzgerald was part of the American literature movement known as Modernism.• Modernism lasted from 1914 – 1945, the period between the two world wars.• Modernists felt that due to the war America had lost it’s innocence, their literature was marked with the idea of living for the moment.
Modernists• Modernist ideals coincided nicely with the roaring twenties.• Major Modernist authors include: Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Zora Neale Hurston, T.S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald.• Fitzgerald belonged to a group of authors known as the Expatriates. These were American artists who disillusioned with the break down of the American dream spent a considerable amount of time in Europe.
The Great Gatsby• The Great Gatsby is based partially on Fitzgerald’s own life. Connections can be made between Fitzgerald and the title character of Gatsby as well as the narrator of the story.• The story takes place in 1922, during the roaring twenties.
The Great Gatsby• Nick Carraway• Nick is the narrator of the story.• Though the story is told from Carraway’s point of view he attempts to be detached from what is happening, however he is part of the story.• This poses a question for the reader: “Can we totally trust Nick’s account of the story?”
The Great Gatsby• Jay Gatsby• Gatsby is the main character of the story.• Little is known about Gatsby other than he throws extravagant parties and has accumulated a vast wealth.
The Great Gatsby• Daisy Fey Buchanan• Daisy is Nick’s cousin (though a distant cousin).• Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan.• Daisy is the main female character in the story.
The Great Gatsby• Tom Buchanan• Tom is roughly the same age as Nick, the two went to college together.• Tom is a man of enormous wealth.• Tom expresses racist views and is a serial adulterer.
The Great Gatsby• Myrtle Wilson• A woman considerably farther down the social ladder than main characters such as Tom or Gatbsy.• A woman who has dreams bigger than what she can actually attain.