THE GREAT GATSBY F. Scott Fitzgerald
Informatio n on the Novel and its Author • Published April 10 1925 • Tragedy • Authored by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Named after Francis Scot Key, born in Saint Paul, always conflicted about how he felt about his country – Had a romantic imagination and was unpopular at school until he went to Princeton – Joined the army in 1917 after flunking out of Princeton – Met the rich Zelda Sayre on duty in Montgomery, planning to marry her but they called it off when he failed to make a fortune – Spring 1920: Published his first novel which made him famous and finally able to marry Zelda – Novel got both of them too much popularity for their liking and they moved to Riviera, France – In Riviera The Great Gatsby was written, showing most of Fitzgerald’s thoughts on life in one story – Alcoholic by the 30’s and his wife went insane, forcing him to send her away for care after a long battle – Moved to Hollywood in 1937 where he lived with a new lover and died in 1939
Historical Context • World War 1 defined a generation of young men • Political unrest – Presidents after the war focused on home issues – Policies ended up benefitting the rich more than anyone • The Roaring Twenties – Social changes: feminism, stock market boom – Popular culture ended up promoting excess leading up to the market crash and Great Depression • Gatsby is set in then-present day New York City
Plot Summary • From Nick Carraway’s POV • Moves to NYC to be a stock broker • Across the bay from his cousin Daisy • She and her husband, Tom Buchanan, have old money – Tom cheats on Daisy with his mechanic and friend’s wife – Daisy has black eyes • Meets Jordan Baker at their mansion – A famous and accomplished woman golfer – They get romantic after some time
Plot Summary • Nick has a mysterious rich neighbor, Jay Gatsby • He gets an invitation to Gatsby’s mansion for a party • Gatsby has rumors following him but Nick likes him • Jordan is at the party and tells him no one gets invited • Gatsby sends for Jordan and talks to her in private • She won’t tell Nick what he said just yet
Plot Summary • Gatsby takes Nick out for a day in the city • Tells him about his accomplishments – Had medals from the war – Attended Oxford – Traveled across Europe • Nick is introduced to Wolfsheim
Plot Summary • Jordan tells Nick that Gatsby had a request • He and Nick’s cousin Daisy were in love a long time ago – They were torn apart by circumstances – He bought his mansion across the bay from her • Gatsby wants a meeting with Daisy arranged – Nick is conflicted – Gatsby approaches him, shaken and offering favors – Nick agrees
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