'The Great Gatsby' context

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  • 'The Great Gatsby' context
    • Fitzgerald's early years
      • Unpopular with other boys at school; seen as aloof.
      • Reading dominated by adventure stories
      • Father tried to make it 'big' in furniture business but never achieved success he hoped for.
      • Mother's inheritence meant the family lived comfortably as part of 'middle class' but Fitzgerald always felt he was like a poor man crashing a rich man's party.
    • Princeton years
      • Beginnings of the alcoholism that would later kill him.
      • Academic probation!
      • Eventually quit and joined the military.
    • Zelda Fitzgerald
      • Proposed to Zelda after discharge from the army in 1919.
        • Zelda had doubts due to Fitzgerald's lack of stable income.
          • Fitzgerald took a job in New York as an advertising writer - wanted to fix 'no money' problem.
      • 'This Side of Paradise' written for Zelda
        • Married a week after it was published.
    • The Roaring 20's
      • Younger generation distrusted older generations after the First World War.
      • Even gang bosses achieved stardom, e.g. Al Capone
      • 1918: prohibition - BUT gangsters provided it.
    • Those 'forgotten' in the Jazz Age
      • African Americans
        • Manual labour for very poor wages.
        • Only real outlet was jazz and dancing
        • Existence of the KKK
      • Share croppers
        • Rented out land from landlords, etc.
        • Could not afford = evicted from land.


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