The Great Gatsby: Cultural Context of the 1920s


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The Great Gatsby: Cultural Context of the 1920s

  1. 1. The Great Gatsby : Cultural Context of the 1920s Created by students in Mrs. Bernstein’s English classes Fall 2008
  2. 2. F. Scott Fitzgerald: 1920-1925 <ul><li>In 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his first book, This Side of Paradise . It was a huge success. </li></ul><ul><li>In the same year, F. Scott Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre. </li></ul><ul><li>Zelda gave birth to Scottie Fitzgerald in 1921. </li></ul><ul><li>F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his second novel, The Beautiful and the Damned in 1922. It was less successful than his first novel. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1924, the Fitzgerald family moved to France, where F. Scott focused on writing his third novel, The Great Gatsby . A year later, F. Scott revised The Great Gatsby in Rome and the book was published that spring. </li></ul>A portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald . F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda Sayre. Mike Morris
  3. 3. F. Scott Fitzgerald: 1926-1929 <ul><li>In 1926, the Fitzgerald family moved to Hollywood, California, where F. Scott became an unsuccessful screen writer. </li></ul><ul><li>F. Scott decided to rent a mansion in Delaware in 1927, and the Fitzgerald family lived there for two years. </li></ul><ul><li>The Fitzgerald family moved back to France in 1929. Unfortunately, Zelda injured herself from ballet. </li></ul>A family photograph of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda. Mike Morris
  4. 4. Bibliography Mike Morris
  5. 5. Women's Clothing in the 1920’s <ul><li>After WWI women’s dress became more masculine. </li></ul><ul><li>Dresses and coats were fairly long, reaching the calf in length. </li></ul><ul><li>Women wore looser clothing, had a suppressed bust line, a hidden waist line, broader shoulders and short hair. </li></ul><ul><li>The tanned, thin, flat-chested face and body of a 15-year old became the desired figure of the 1920’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Flapper fashion was also seen throughout the 1920’s </li></ul><ul><li>The typical flapper wore shorter than average shapeless dresses, had short, sleek hair and a flat bust line, wore and applied make-up in public, exposed her limbs, and smoked. </li></ul><ul><li>Bras were usually home made using white cotton </li></ul><ul><li>Store bought bras resembled camisoles, offering no support. </li></ul><ul><li>Long corsets were worn to produce a boyish figure. </li></ul><ul><li>Lastex girdles were worn to flatten the abdomen. </li></ul><ul><li>Women wore minimal, lightweight and sheer underwear. </li></ul><ul><li>Cloches were snug-fitting hats that covered the forehead and ears, worn at an angle yet still allowing for vision. </li></ul>Long dresses were worn to convey a manly appearance Flapper dresses were worn to show the women as rebels during the 1920’s. Shaylyn Parkhurst
  6. 6. Men’s Clothing in the 1920’s <ul><li>During WWI men’s suit Lapel’s became less popular </li></ul><ul><li>During the 1920’s men began to wear cuffed trousers. </li></ul><ul><li>Two-toned tan and white or black and white shoes became popular along with flannel clothing (casual wear) </li></ul><ul><li>Black patented shoes and lace-up style shoes were worn for formal dress. </li></ul><ul><li>Male figures wore “knickers” with sweaters or casual shirts. </li></ul><ul><li>Men's suits before the war were $30.00 in New York. </li></ul><ul><li>Men’s suits after the war were $50.00 in New York. </li></ul>Men & boys wore “knickers” or short knee pants. Casual wear became more popular during this era. Shaylyn Parkhurst
  7. 7. Bibliography <ul><li>&quot;At least we have the Celtics.&quot; In my head there's a greyhound station . 11 Nov. 2008 < er_1/flapper_1_full/a_flapper.jpg>. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Can't beat the 1920's.” AAAC BULLETIN BOARD . 11 Nov. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>< o.jpg> </li></ul><ul><li>Freda, Diane. “Roaring changes: The century's early defining moments in Anne Arundel.” Living History . 11 Nov. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>< aring_men1920s.jpg> </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, Pauline W. &quot;Flapper Fashion - 1920s Fashion History.&quot; Flapper Fashion 1920s C20th Fashion History . 9 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Vecchione, Lanajean. &quot;20th Century Fashion Resources.&quot; Fashion- Flashbacks Exploring Retro Style . 2003. 9 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;What People Wore Back in 1920's.&quot; The People History 1920's Fashions inclusing Prices . 2008. 9 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul>Shaylyn Parkhurst
  8. 8. Cars of the 1920’s <ul><li>Cars were becoming increasingly popular among American families. Many men coming back to the US following WW1 were buying cars. </li></ul><ul><li>The largest car company of the time was Ford, their most popular model was the T. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1924, the Ford T cost about $265, which made it affordable for most families, and made traveling far more convenient. </li></ul>A 1924 Ford Model T Nick Russo
  9. 9. Cars of the 1920’s <ul><li>During the 1920’s, mass production of cars was being introduced. This was making cars more affordable for the average family. </li></ul><ul><li>By the 1920’s cars were the most popular and effective mode of transportation. </li></ul><ul><li>Roads that were originally planned for horse-back traveling were being worn down by the use of cars on them. </li></ul>A 1920’s automobiles driving through thick layers of mud. Nick Russo
  10. 10. Bibliography <ul><li>Iowa Department of Transportation. “1920's Automobiles and Road Transportation.&quot; 1920's Automobiles . 4 May 2008. 11 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>The AvonHill group Inc. Avon Group. 1924 Ford Model T . 1920 Cars, The Avon Group, Toronto. </li></ul><ul><li>Harris, Tom. &quot;Classic Cars from the 1920's and prior.&quot; Internet Classic Cars . 10 Nov. 2008. 10 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul>Nick Russo
  11. 11. Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Born in Newport News, Va. On April 25, 1917 The most popular female jazz singer in the US for more than half a century She had a wide ranging voice that could sing ballads, jazz, and imitate every instrument in the orchestra Worked with jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra Abby Robbins
  12. 12. In 1936, she made her first recording, “Love and Kisses” under the Decca label As the time was shifting from big bands to bebop, she first experimented with the new style in her rendition of “You have to Swing it” Ella became famous for her scat singing and her improvisation and she made scat singing a form of art &quot;Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.“---Ella Fitzgerald “ She is amazingly creative, bringing so much more to a song than just a singer. She is a first-class musician and the most gracious person in the world.&quot; -- Marty Paich Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Abby Robbins
  13. 13. Websites <ul><li>Official Website of Ella Fitzgerald. The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation c/o CMG Woldwide, Inc. November 11, 2008 <> </li></ul><ul><li>For images: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Abby Robbins
  14. 14. Evolution of the blues in the 20’s <ul><li>Blues is a sad type of music which is usually sung in heartfelt tones. Sometimes blues can be more upbeat, but the beat is usually slower and the songs always have sorrowful content. </li></ul><ul><li>The way the songs were sung, along with the musical accompaniment and the style of singing, were changed in the 1920’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Subject of Blues music was usually about love, usually broken love. Other subjects could be pain or sorrow. </li></ul>Bessie Smith, a popular blues singer.
  15. 15. Blues Singers <ul><li>The first big blues singer was Ma Rainey. She started as an opera singer at the age of 14. She continued her singing career as a Blues singer. </li></ul><ul><li>Bessie Smith met up with Ma Rainey and Ma taught her how to sing the blues, then Bessie took her training and revolutionized the Blues. </li></ul><ul><li>Blues singers either were accompanied by a solo guitarist or banjoist, or by a jazz band. </li></ul>Ma Rainey and her band
  16. 16. Douglas Fairbanks (May 23, 1883 - December 12, 1939) <ul><li>One of the pioneers of cinema; an influential American actor, producer, screenwriter, director </li></ul><ul><li>Made/Acted in over 40 films </li></ul><ul><li>Made highly popular swashbuckler films during the twenties </li></ul><ul><li>Possessed an almost unshakable faith in American values </li></ul><ul><li>Known for performing all of his acting stunts, with the exception of one </li></ul><ul><li>His last words: “Never felt better” </li></ul>Douglas Fairbanks and his second wife, Mary Pickford Michael Cho
  17. 17. <ul><li>Made/Acted in a string of timeless adventure films during the 1920s </li></ul><ul><li>- The Mark of Zorro in 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>- The Three Musketeers in 1921 </li></ul><ul><li>- Robin Hood in 1922 </li></ul><ul><li>- The Thief of Baghdad in 1924 </li></ul><ul><li>- Don Q, Son of Zorro in 1925 </li></ul><ul><li>- The Black Pirate in 1926. </li></ul><ul><li>Formed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and oversaw its first award ceremony </li></ul><ul><li>Was involved in the opening of Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard; made first footprints/handprints along with his wife, Mary Pickford </li></ul><ul><li>Helped to open the Roosevelt Hotel, which would become the site of the first academy award ceremony, which he hosted in 1929 </li></ul>Douglas Fairbanks: Achievements Douglas Fairbanks acting in his screenplay, Robin Hood Michael Cho
  18. 18. Bibliography &quot;Adventure.&quot; Classic Movie-Phile . 22 Dec. 2006. Decksville. 10 Nov. 2008 <>. &quot;American actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.&quot; . Wikipedia. 10 Nov. 2008 < _pickford_01.jpg>. &quot;Douglas Fairbanks.&quot; . Yahoo. 10 Nov. 2008 <>. &quot;Encyclopedia of World Biography on Douglas Fairbanks.&quot; . Encyclopedia of World Biography. 10 Nov. 2008 < fairbanks/>. Stephan, Ed. &quot;Biography for Douglas Fairbanks.&quot; . The Internet Movie Database. 10 Nov. 2008 <>. Vance, Jeffery. &quot;Douglas Fairbanks.&quot; . University of California Press. 10 Nov. 2008 <>. Michael Cho
  19. 19. Speakeasies <ul><li>A speakeasy was a liquor establishment where alcoholic beverages were sold and consumed during Prohibition </li></ul><ul><li>Speakeasies were formed in the 1920's as a means to get around law enforcement watching for people to violate the 18th Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>speakeasies were one of the many ways that people during the 1920's and early 1930's obtained illegal alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>To order alcohol without drawing attention or raising suspicion, bartenders asked customers to remain quiet and &quot;speak easy.&quot; </li></ul>A moonshine still. Moonshine is home produced alcohol or whiskey. Nick Martino
  20. 20. Speakeasies <ul><li>Speakeasies were numerous; some had food, floor shows, and live bands playing 1920’s Jazz </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Prohibition agents raided these establishments, arresting both owners and patrons </li></ul><ul><li>It was common for police to be bribed by speakeasy operators in order to operate or be given advance notice about raids during 1920s' Prohibition </li></ul>A primary goal of 1920s' Prohibition was the reduction of alcohol consumption by workers. So it was poured into the sewer. Nick Martino
  21. 21. Bibliography <ul><li>&quot;1920s' PROHIBITION.&quot; 11 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Speakeasies.&quot; 20 Feb. 1998. 11 Nov. 2008 <>. </li></ul>Nick Martino
  22. 22. Dances <ul><li>The most popular dance of the 1920s was the Charleston. </li></ul><ul><li>It was a fast-paced dance, with elaborate arm movements, that became a craze in the United States during the 1920s. </li></ul><ul><li>The dance originated as early as 1903 in the African American community of a small island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. </li></ul>Josephine Baker dancing the Charleston at the Folies Bergère, Paris, in 1926 Brooke Collinson
  23. 23. Dances <ul><li>Schools taught dancing to small children, while churches used dances to attract young people. Tangos, Foxtrots, Camel Walks, even Square dances were popular. </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1920's and 30's the Lindy hop, named for the pilot Charles Lindburgh's first solo flight, emerged and was the first dance to include swinging the partner into the air, as well as jumping in sequence. </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing began to actively involve the upper body for the first time as women began shaking their torsos in a dance called the Shimmy. </li></ul>Charleston dance Brooke Collinson
  24. 24. Dances <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>First picture </li></ul><ul><li>Second picture </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Brooke Collinson
  25. 25. Steamboat Willie <ul><li>Drew the first sketches of Mickey Mouse on a train to Los Angeles after losing the rights to Oswald, the cartoon rabbit. </li></ul><ul><li>It was the first Mickey Mouse film released and the first cartoon with synchronized sound. </li></ul><ul><li>Disney asked for $3,000 per film and insisted on keeping hold of the rights to the Mickey Mouse character. </li></ul><ul><li>Steamboat Willie premiered at New York's Colony Theater and attracted a great deal of attention. </li></ul>Movie poster Guillermo Velasco
  26. 26. <ul><li>The &quot;New York Times&quot; called it &quot;an ingenious piece of work with a good deal of fun.&quot; And Mickey was off and running. </li></ul><ul><li>Steamboat Willie made such a success that two weeks after its premiere Disney re-released it at the largest theater in the world, the Roxy in NYC. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the striking things about Steamboat Willie is how violent and cruel to animals.2 </li></ul>Steamboat Willie Introduction to the cartoon Guillermo Velasco
  27. 27. Bibliography <ul><li>&quot;Original steamboat willie poster.&quot; Flickr. 11 Sep. 2006. 9 Nov. 2008. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Walt's Masterworks Steamboat Willie .&quot; Thee Walt Disney Family Museum. 6 May. 2008. 9 Nov. 2008. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Steamboat Willie - November 18, 1928 .&quot; Mickey Mouse Follies: Black and White. 7 Oct. 2007. 9 Nov. 2008. <>. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Walt Disney: Steamboat Willie.&quot; MoMA-The Museum of Modern Art. 2004. 9 Nov. 2008. <> </li></ul>Guillermo Velasco
  28. 28. The Red Scare: 1918-1920 <ul><li>In 1917, the Bolsheviks, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, seized power in Russia, turning the country into a communist state. </li></ul><ul><li>This coup caused widespread fear in the United States; America was patriotic following Germany’s defeat in WWI, and many Americans viewed communism as a threat to the capitalistic system </li></ul><ul><li>However, the end of the war left many citizens without jobs. Some unemployed industrial workers joined Socialist political parties, earning resentment and suspicion. </li></ul>A 1920s political cartoon, depicting the deportation of suspected “Reds” to Russia. Jonathan Makransky
  29. 29. Panic and Paranoia <ul><li>Worker strikes became labeled as outlets for communism. The government branded any worker who demanded better working conditions as a “Red”, a communist sympathizer. </li></ul><ul><li>The scare spread throughout government and education; many teachers and professors were fired for involvement in even mildly leftist groups, while legislators issued bans on organized protests and strikes (Burnett, “The Red Scare”). </li></ul><ul><li>Happily, the scare largely ended by the summer of 1920, following a report by the Justice Department on the Government’s breach of civil rights. </li></ul>A cartoon showing the fear of organized strikes that characterized the Red Scare Jonathan Makransky
  30. 30. Sources <ul><li>Brown. &quot;Convenient for Him.&quot; Cartoon. Red Scare Image Database . 11 November 2008 < >. </li></ul><ul><li>Burnett, Paul. “The Red Scare.” University of Missouri-Kansas City . 11 November 2008 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Holland, Julian, et al. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia . Boston: Kingfisher, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Red Scare Toon.&quot; Cartoon. Virginia Western University . 11 November 2008 < >. </li></ul>Jonathan Makransky
  31. 31. Al Capone’s Early Life <ul><li>Alphonse Capone was born on February 17, 1899 in Brooklyn, NY. </li></ul><ul><li>He joined 2 gangs known as the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors when he was a kid. </li></ul><ul><li>In 6 th grade he beat a female teacher and then left school. </li></ul><ul><li>He later joined the notorious Five Points Gang. This is where he was mentored by Frankie Yale. During this time, he received 3 scars on his left cheek after getting into a fight with Frank Gallucio and his nickname was then “Scarface”. </li></ul><ul><li>He then moved to Chicago in 1921 with his wife Mae Josephine Coughlin </li></ul>Al Capone in the 1920s. Tyler Apeseche
  32. 32. Al Capone’s Later Life <ul><li>In the early 1920s, Capone went to work with his oldest mentor, Torrio. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1922, Capone was Torrio’s 2 nd hand man </li></ul><ul><li>When Torrio was shot and killed, Capone took the reins. </li></ul><ul><li>Capone controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, brothels, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries and had an income of $100,000,000 a year. </li></ul><ul><li>During St. Valentines Day massacre in 1929, Capone killed 7 enemy gang members in one of the most notorious gang crimes ever. </li></ul><ul><li>Whenever murders were planned, Capone always had an alibi. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1931, Capone was indicted for income tax evasion and had to go to jail until 1939. </li></ul><ul><li>His power and health slowly diminished after his imprisonment </li></ul><ul><li>On January 25, 1947, Capone died from a cardiac arrest. </li></ul>Al Capone in a police photo during the 1930s. Tyler Apeseche
  33. 33. Bibliography <ul><li>The History Files. 1999. Chicago Historical Society. 11/10/08. <> </li></ul><ul><li>Al Capone. 11/1/08. Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. 11/10/08. <> </li></ul>Tyler Apeseche
  34. 34. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre <ul><li>The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred on February 14, 1929. </li></ul><ul><li>It was the most violent and notorious attack that took place during the Chicago gang wars between South Side Italian gangsters, led by Al Capone, and North Side Irish gangsters, led by Dion O’Banion. </li></ul><ul><li>The war between these two rival gangs was sparked by the passing of the National Prohibition Act in 1926. O’Banion, an Irish florist, was one of the leading bootleggers (provider of illegal alcohol) in Chicago. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1926 O’Banion was shot dead outside his shop. His gang blamed the murder on rival gangster, Al Capone. In retaliation O’Banion’s met assaulted Capone’s headquarters. </li></ul><ul><li>This violence started the Chicago Gang Wars, which would reach their bloodiest point at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. </li></ul>Gangster Al Capone Gangster Dion O’Banion Andrew O’Connor
  35. 35. Six men lay dead in the mechanic’s shop after the brutal shooting. Andrew O’Connor <ul><li>Three men dressed as police officers, along with two in civilian clothes, entered the shop and told the men to line up with their hands up. The men obliged, believing it was a police raid. </li></ul><ul><li>The six men in the shop were then mercilessly gunned down. </li></ul><ul><li>The attacks were blamed on Capone’s gunmen, but no convictions were ever made. </li></ul><ul><li>On February 14, 1929, six men, four of whom were members of the O’Banion gang, were waiting inside a mechanic’s shop waiting for a shipment of illegal alcohol. </li></ul>The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
  36. 36. Bibliography Andrew O’Connor Al Capone [Portrait]. Chicago. Blood, Roses, and Valentines . 2001. Haunted History of the St. Valentines Day Massacre. 11 Nov. 2008 < Dion O'Banion . Public Enemy's Cultural References, Chicago. Public Enemy's Cultural References in 1931 . 14 Oct. 2001. Public Enemy's Cultural Reference. 13 Nov. 2008 <>. Hoffmen, Dennis E. &quot;Scarface Al Capone and the Crime Crusaders.&quot; Spartacus Educational . 11 Nov. 2008 <http://>. Miller, John. &quot;St. Valentine's Day Massacre, 1929.&quot; 14 Feb 1929. Spartacus Educational Website. 11 Nov 2008.
  37. 37. Wall Street Bombing <ul><li>Took place on September 16, 1920 in New York City’s financial district. </li></ul><ul><li>A horse drawn carriage stopped across the street for J. P. Morgan Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>This carriage was loaded with 100 pounds of dynamite. </li></ul>One of the first acts of terrorism on U.S. soil still remains a mystery. Jack Alich
  38. 38. Wall Street Bombing <ul><li>The carriage exploded killing over 30 people and injuring over 400 people. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 2 millions dollars in property damage was caused. </li></ul><ul><li>Although it was never confirmed who was the mastermind behind this scheme, it is suspected Italian Anarchists did it. </li></ul>Anarchists bomb Wall Street New York, 1920 Sources: Jack Alich
  39. 39. The 18 th Amendment <ul><li>Section 1 . After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Section 2 . The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. </li></ul><ul><li>Section 3 . This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress. </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibits the sale, not the consumption of alcohol throughout the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>The government hoped to diminish crimes committed while intoxicated </li></ul><ul><li>They felt that alcohol didn’t have enough redeeming value to be legal </li></ul>A political poster in favor of the 18 th Amendment Brian Kracoff
  40. 40. <ul><li>Organized crime grew </li></ul><ul><li>Needed to reinforce the amendment with the “Volstead Act” </li></ul><ul><li>The 21 st Amendment repealed the 18 th Amendment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government felt that the 18 th Amendment was not working as hoped </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The only constitutional amendment to be completely repealed </li></ul>The 18 th Amendment A woman against the 18 th Amendment Brian Kracoff
  41. 41. Bibliography <ul><li>“ The 18th Amendment.” SUNY at Albany. 10 Nov. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Eighteenth Amendment--Prohibition of Intoxicating Liquors.”  The Constitution of the United States of America . 1 Nov. 1996. United States Government Printing Office. 10 Nov. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Speakeasies of the Prohibition Era .  Legends of America . 10 Nov. 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Speakeasies of the Prohibition Era .  Legends of America . 10 Nov. 2008 </li></ul>Brian Kracoff