The Great Gatsby Book Report and Discussion
Uploaded by 2cool4u on Dec 29, 2004
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
I. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew up in an upper-middle class family where he enjoyed the traditions of the upper classes, but not the financial ability to uphold those practices. Fitzgerald acquired his fame, almost overnight, with the publication of his first book, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. His extensive career began with the writing of stories for mass-circulation magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post. That same year, he married Zelda Sayre, who later became one his major influences on his writing, along with literature, Princeton, and alcohol. In the summer of 1924, Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, a novel about the American dream. This novel was written in Fitzgerald's own time. The reader is able to see his insight and artistic integrity in the way that which the novel is composed. He brings forth the values that he embraced at least partially in his own life, such as materialism and the magic of wealth, which are clearly placed in the characters of The Great Gatsby. The novel is almost a paradox of his own biography: a unique materialism in which men attempt to create happiness from material achievement. The novel received the most striking critical appraisal, just as predicted by Fitzgerald. This honorary event marked the climax of his fame, however, his reputation faded from then on. With the illness of his wife, he reflected his experiences in his further work, such as Tender Is the Night. Some other examples of his work include The Beautiful and Damned and The Love of the Last Tycoon. At the age of forty-four, Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack. Since his death, critics have come to see his work as a reflection of the American culture and of "The Twenties", a noteworthy representation of his people that is saturated with meaning today.
II. The story of Gatsby takes place in the 1920's, a time that began with the closing of the bloodiest conflict the world had ever witnessed. The European society had suffered spiritually from the effects of World War I, yet life in America became a time of material demand. The twenties are best known as a decade when American business was riding high and increases in productivity brought hundreds of new products within the reach of the average consumer. The widespread impact of the stock market downturn heightened...