The roaring twenties -

World War I is the defining
event that set the “Roaring
Twenties” or “The Jazz Age”
into motion.
 "They're
all desperadoes, these kids, all of
them with any life in their veins; the girls as
well as the boys; maybe more than the
Warner Fabian
 Lovely,
expensive, and about nineteen."
F. Scott Fitzgerald's description of the
ideal flapper
THE FLAPPER by Dorothy Parker
The Playful flapper here we see, The fairest of the fair.
She's not what Grandma used to be, -- You might say, au
Her girlish ways may make a stir, Her manners cause a
scene, But there is no more harm in her Than in a
She nightly knocks for many a goal The usual dancing
men. Her speed is great, but her control Is something else
again. All spotlights focus on her pranks. All tongues her
prowess herald. For which she well may render thanks To
God and Scott Fitzgerald.
Her golden rule is plain enough - Just get them young and
treat them rough.
 Speak-easies
 Rum-Runners
 Bootleggers
 Moonshine
 Rotgut
 Corrupt
Law Enforcement
 Organized Crime “Massacres”
 “Fixed” betting
 Anti-immigration
 Immigration
Acts of 1920 and 1924
 Deportations of “anarchists”
 Trials
of undesirables
 Sacco
 Racial
and Vanzetti
 The Ku Klux Klan
 Defeat of anti-lynching laws
The Stock Market crash in 1929
brought about a sudden, long lasting
reversal in the materially driven,
“live for today” mentality that had
overtaken America’s middle and
upper classes in the 1920s.
What happened to American
Literature do in the 1920s?
Realism evolves into
1910 - 1930
broad range of artists and movements, led
by “The Lost Generation”
 A break with the style, form and content of
the 19th century
 Impacted by psychology
 Stream of consciousness: follows the random
thoughts of man
 Abstract, fragmentary
 Reflects the bewilderment of the age in
sometimes intentionally puzzling thoughts
 Term
used to describe the generation of
writers active immediately after World War
 Refers
specifically to American expatriate
writers associated with 1920s Paris,
especially Hemingway and Fitzgerald. and
including T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.
Characteristics of "Lost Generation" authors ~ sought
the meaning of life ~drank a lot ~frequent love
affairs ~many of the finest literary masterpieces
written during this period ~rejected
modern American materialism ~lived in Paris
 In
This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald writes
A generation that found all Gods dead, all
wars fought, all faith in man shaken.
 The
phrase signifies a disillusioned
postwar generation characterized by lost
values, lost belief in the idea of human
progress, and a mood of futility and
despair leading to hedonism.