The Great Gatsby: Historical Context

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Historical context for Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

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The Great Gatsby: Historical Context

  1. 1. The Great Gatsby Historical Context & Study Schedule
  2. 2. The 1920’s: Nicknames <ul><li>The Roaring 20’s </li></ul><ul><li>The Jazz Age </li></ul><ul><li>The Flapper Era </li></ul><ul><li>The Aspirin Age </li></ul><ul><li>The Age of Wonderful Nonsense </li></ul>What do these nicknames suggest about the time period?
  3. 3. 1920’s Context
  4. 4. Post WWI <ul><li>Physical & Spiritual Euphoria & Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Disregard for Pre-War Values </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Freedom: </li></ul><ul><li>- Low interest / buying on credit </li></ul><ul><li>- Stock market growth </li></ul><ul><li>- Relative luxury for common people </li></ul>
  5. 5. Implications for the 1920’s <ul><li>“ I can do anything” feeling (success-wise, morality-wise) </li></ul><ul><li>Resurgence of the “American Dream” that brought immigrants to America in the first place: </li></ul>“ If you put your mind to something and work hard, you can have whatever you want (money, success, fame) even if you start with nothing.”
  6. 6. Therefore, the 1920’s feel was: <ul><li>Optimism </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Celebration </li></ul><ul><li>Positive feeling about the promises & potential of new life and new values </li></ul>
  7. 7. BUT… <ul><li>Upon what were all of these great feelings actually founded? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Answer: nothing “real” <ul><li>Death of family & friends in War </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer jobs as Wartime production over </li></ul><ul><li>Women competing for jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Things owned / bought with “virtual money” (stocks / credit & debt) </li></ul><ul><li>Morally bankrupt society; no solid values (carefree, silly, fun) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The American Dream… <ul><li>… a misleading illusion: </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Great Gatsby: Geography
  11. 11. The Great Gatsby: Geography
  12. 12. Gatsby Reading Schedule <ul><li>Gatsby Day 1: Chapters 1-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Gatsby Day 2 : Chapters 4-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Gatsby Day 3 : Chapters 6-7 </li></ul><ul><li>Gatsby Day 4 : Chapters 8-9 </li></ul><ul><li>Gatsby Day 5 : Gatsby Test & Film </li></ul>
  13. 13. Related Handouts <ul><li>Gatsby Biography / Book Review </li></ul><ul><li>Gatsby Essay Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Getting into The Great Gatsby </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter Questions </li></ul>
  14. 14. Enjoy The Great Gatsby!

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