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Scott Fitzgerald (1896 – 194o)

Lost Generation
Roaring 205
Jazz Age
This Side of Paradise
Collection of short stories: Flappers and Philosophers. He became very quickly popular both
with critics and audiences, popular with magazing with publishing his short stories. He was
kind of the golden boy of this age. Influenced by Ezra Pound. He struggled with the mode of
writing that would be appropoate for his novels. Personal struggles, his mood, most of his
stories have melancholic, tragedic, despite the fact that they are full of parties and live for today.
The whole age, Lost Generation, loss of ideals, loss of optimism, the period when taht type of
necessary believ in evolution and development in the possibility of finding a purpose at all.
Gatsby is the only who has a purpose. He is the embodiment of the nineteenth century. There
are no dreams, no carpe diem lifestyle, looking for different sensation but they are above these
coulds of hoplessness. You don’t have anything to look forward to.
Fitzgerald called it the Jazz Age. In fact he personally and wife Zelda, they were the
embodiment of Jazz style.
1925 The Great Gatsby
1922 The Beautiful and the Dammed
1934 Tender is the Night
1941 The Lost Tycoon

Tales of the Jazz Age – short story

Zelda also tried her head with writing, she published Save me the Waltz. From a woman’s
perspective.
In this book, Gatsby, Fitz… conveys that all the gods are dead, where the remains of the
nineteenth century were shattered by the 2nd world war, shaked or destroyed beliefs, where the
very possibility of writing authentically was questioned. Omniscient narrator is impossible by
this time.

1. Narrator
First person narration, naive narrator, focal I, homodiegetic, intradiegetic. He is
appropiate for this focal consciousness.. he is a very sensitive young man, notices details
that others would not, he is good at storytelling in details. He has access to all circles.
We also know that he is an outsider, from a part of the country that is still not trapped
in this disillusionment that characterizes New York. The very first pages, certain values
are promoted, he lives with advice of his father. Observer of people and environments
and he mostly understand the motivations of people around him, he is the one who
becomes the confident of everyone, he is a personality who invites people to be intimate
with him. He still fails in one thing, he’s subjective.

2. Gatsby (through what we can get to know him, is he a hero or an anti-hero)


We get to know his Gatsby through Daisy’s perspective, through flashbacks, then the
narrator, Nick we get to know Gatsby in the same rythm as Nick gets to know him, from
gossip. Gatsby himself tells Nick things. The parties that he throws. The house that he
owns. From the way he acts, the languge, the conversation seems to be a conversation
of no purpose again. The cars they drive, there is a study that analyzes the cars they
drive and tells us what they are…. bright yellow car – Gatsby drives. Wants to recreate
the past, but it’s not impossible, it’s an interior factor that leads him to his downfall and
the exterior factor that he took the blame for the car crush. Remains enigmatic, we get
glimpses from his background from different parts of his life, but he remains mysterios,
Nick meets Gatsy at the party, most people don’t even know his physical appearance.
Not the hero in the universal sense, he is motivated by his self interest. Material interest,
all the money in the world, emotional interest, he wants to conquer Daisy back.
Hero because he wants to fight for the old values, dreams, that type of existence where
there are morals. Period of prohibition with alcoholic issues. Nick is educated, sensitive,
with moral compass, he comes from outside, he is related to Daisy. He seems to be the
ideal character for the role of the hero and protagonist. We still symphatize with Gatsby
anyway, although he might have taken part in some fishy business. He is the only who
has a purpose, is couragous enough to dream. Low born hero of American fiction,
despite whatever is going around him, he finds sth moral compass what is right and what
is wrong. He very much reminds us what Emmerson calls self-reliance and that type of
American individualism and optimism thta characterized the nineteenth century. Nick
lacks of purpose, he is trying to make sense around the world. This cannot be held up
for more.
The love between him and Daisy, Gatsby would not look at Daisy as an object it is the
tragedy the tragic consequence of American optimism that Gatsby carries.
Daisy – quite empty, not very intelligent, confused. She doesn’t really know what she
wants, her emotional intelligence is enough to realize that something is missing from
her life but incapable of doing anything in order to change this.
Towards the end, we have another very important source of information… Gatsby’s
father gives Nick a book with his daily routine, Benjamin Franklin, self-improvement.
Gatsby is the 20th century, he is an anachronism (antonim: neologism) He is the
embodiment of that type of the American man who builds himself up very much in the
mode of Benjamin Franklin’s Self-made man, first besteller of the world, Way to
Wealth, how you make your way to be wealthy, in the sense that he bears all those ideals
and thoughts of the nineteenth century, a very strong belief in evoltuion in improvement
and endless possibilites. He carries values that have been lost by the 20th century. He is
a tragic hero as well, the tragedy of the jazz age is that all these values die together with
Gatsby.
3. Repetition of symboloc elements, East versus West… Daisy and Tom’s house and
Gatsby’s villa and Nick’s cottage. The cars they drive. Valey of ashes. When you thrive
to New York, you have to cross it and what does it stand for?!
Old money – new money.
Duality of the age… Nick is not a dreamer he doesn’t have the drive of Gatsby, he has
a balance that differ
East Egg – West Egg, the homes,
Caunterpoint of West Egg, high lifestyle that is supported by people inhabiting the
Value of Ashes, the American industry. This is what crashes 29.. without any drive and
any possibilites and intertextually links to T.S. Elliot the Waste Land.
Green light – goal that can be reached. Gatsby’s hope, green as the colour of hope. The
Dollar bill.

In terms of characters, are there any dinamic characters? The only dinamic character of
the novel is Nick. He gets to understand the age he lives in, an age without solid value
system.

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