Great Gatsby Background Notes Mrs. Fanning English 6C.
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Great GatsbyBackground Notes
Mrs. FanningEnglish 6C
1. F. Scott FitzgeraldA. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896, family lived off his mothers inheritanceB. Attended Princeton for a year, then joined the army in 1917C. Zelda 1st broke off engagement because she was unwilling to live on his small salary in the advertisement businessLater married him in 1920 after his first novel This Side of Paradise was successfulD. They had frequent domestic rows and their daughter Scottie attended boarding school
Fitzgerald contdE. Started writing Great Gatsby while in France in 1924Gatsby received great praise from critics but disappointing salesF. Met Ernest Hemingway in Paris, then unknown as a writerG. Zelda had a mental breakdown and spent the rest of her life in sanitariums starting in 1932Zelda wrote an autobiography while a patient, angering her husband for stealing his materialH. Fitzgerald died of a heart attack in 1940 with his obituaries calling him a failure as a writer
2. The Lost GenerationA. Phrase the lost generation first coined by Gertrude Stein but popularized by Ernest HemingwayB. Refers to the generation of young people coming of age in the US during and shortly after WWIC. They were disillusioned with the large number of casualties during WWI and prudish Victorian notions of moralityD. Some complained that American art lacked breadth of European work, causing them to spend large amounts of time in EuropeE. They produced jazz music - first distinctly American art formF. Five members include Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. Flappers in the Roaring TwentiesA. Before WWI the Gibson Girl with long straight skirts and high collars was fashionable - allowing women to participate in sports like golfB. WWI vets found it difficult to settle down to a humdrum routine as if nothing had happenedAfter nearly a generation of men died at war, women were not willing to waste away their youth waiting for spinsterhood, but decided to enjoy life
Flappers contdC. Flappers described young girls in the US and Britain who were ideally lovely, expensive and about nineteenD. Defined as a giddy, attractive and slightly unconventional young thinginclined to revolt against the precepts and admonitions of her eldersE. New trends included losing corsets and dropping waists to the hipline, hair was bobbed and more makeup was worn
4. Prohibition1. 1st began in the 1840s by Methodists, revived in 1880s with Womens Christian Temperance Union and the Prohibition Party and the Anti- Saloon League in 1900s2. The 18th amendment enacted Prohibition from 1920-1933The 19th amendment granted women the vote3. 18th amendment specifically prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within or into the US but the the Dry Law allowed small quantities of home made wine for personal use
Prohibition contd4. Mississippi was the last state to repeal in 19665. Social problems included the black market and racketeering when powerful gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies6. Three fun facts = the KKK strongly supported Prohibition, Carrie Nation fought for Prohibition by destroying bottles with a hatchet, and other activists enforced by entering saloons singing and praying
Long Island7. Fitzgerald lived in Great Neck area of Long Island which became West Egg in the book
8. Long island is almost 1400 square miles with a current population of 7.5 million9. So named because it is much longer than it is wide but the Native American name was Paumanok meaning the island that pays tribute
Long Island contd10. Known for affluence and high quality of life (2nd richest county in New York State behind Manhattan)11. Suffolk county known for its beach towns, including the renowned Hamptons12. Also known for its strong middle class and people committed to family living and community events
6. Stoddards Rising Tide of Color13. Usually paired with racism and white supremacy14. Written in 192015. Stoddard argued that the number of non-whites was growing rapidly and would soon overtake the white hegemony16. Stoddard thought the Japanese were the most serious threat with highly intelligent children who could quickly overtake Western techniques17. Stoddards hope for the future is that whites would rediscover that race is destiny18. Similar books of the time include Mankind at the Crossroads and Race and National Solidarity
7. Black Sox Scandal19. Cincinnati Reds beat Chicago White Sox 5 games to 3 - but it was fixed!20. Sleepy Bill Burns and Billy Maharg first initiated, getting white sox players Ed Cicotte and Arnold Chick Gandils initial support21. Eight players were indicted and banned for life22. Shoeless Joe Jackson seemed relatively innocent because he set a record with 12 hits and the only home run hit during the entire series23. Shoeless Joe is quoted saying before he died, I am going to meet the greatest umpire of all - and He knows Im innocent.