Who is F. Scott Fitzgerald, and why do we care?

F. Scott Fitzgerald
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_g-0u1wfNc
 Born in the late 18th century (1896), did not come from an affluent
 Has trouble making friends, writes plays and casts his peers in the
 Attends Princeton, meets Ginevra King, a wealthy socialite… her
father tells Fitzgerald, “poor boys shouldn’t think of marrying rich
girls.” This later becomes a famous line in Great Gatsby. Ginevra
ends up marrying some other rich guy, but she is a muse for many
of Fitzgerald’s characters.
 Fitzgerald get’s carried away with partying in college, develops the
early stages of a drinking problem. Between writing and drinking,
he neglected his grades and drops out of Princeton before
• When the U.S. enters WWI, Fitzgerald is happy to
enlist and try again for notoriety as a lieutenant in
the war.
• Stationed in Montgomery, Alabama, Fitzgerald
meets and falls in love with Zelda.
Marriage & Baby
 Zelda was having second thoughts… $35/week was
not nearly enough money to fund her excessive
lifestyle. She broke off the engagement.
Fitzgerald moves back home with his parents and
writes This Side of Paradise
Success! Zelda changes her mind again, the two wed.
They become a celebrity couple.
They have a daughter, but nannies are common and
the child doesn’t slow the couple down.
Mental Illness
 The couple’s partying leads to a serious drinking
problem for both Fitzgerald and Zelda.
 At only 28, Zelda’s mental state begins to
deteriorate. She becomes a danger to herself and
others and is diagnosed Schizophrenic.
 Fitzgerald still loves Zelda, and writes, “My love for
Zelda was one in a century, life ended for me when
Zelda and I crashed, if she would get well I would be
happy again and my soul released.”
Death & Legacy
 At 44 Fitzgerald was not in good health, and he
suffered a mild heart attack. He works ferociously to
finish his novel The Last Tycoon, but in December
he suffers a massive and fatal heart attack.
 Few people attend his funeral, including Zelda who
was too ill too travel.
 She spends the next 8 years in and out of mental
hospitals… in 1948 a fire breaks out at her hospital
and she along with 8 other patients are trapped.
 She was buried beside Fitzgerald in Maryland.
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVO5D8kjVug
Why do we care?
 The character Jay Gatsby was ranked No. 1 Best
Fictional Character since 1900 by Book Magazine.
Fitzgerald has become the most famous chronicler of
1920’s America.
Great Gatsby captures the spirit of the times,
including the rising crime that elicited from
prohibition, and the sprawling private parties that
characterized the excessive lifestyle of the 1920’s.
Nearly 100 years from it’s publication in 1925, the
novel remains relevant today.
 The NY Times says, “Gatsby is a man for our times”
and also that “When the rich-poor gap widens,
Gatsby becomes a guidebook.”
 Why? What does a fictional character written in the
1920’s… almost 100 years ago… have in common
with us now?
 In the last several years, America has confronted the
rising disparity between the rich and the poor.
 This will be a question we return to throughout our
reading, but for starters lets take a look at another
NY Times article.
 Think about your own “green light.” What goals/dreams do
you aspire to? What obstacles stand in your way? How can
you overcome those odds? Would you stop at anything to
achieve your dreams?
 Write at least half a page to me addressing these questions. If
you have large handwriting, I expect a full page. This is
informal but I do expect a full heading:
 Your Name
Class Period: 4/8
When you have finished writing, please turn the paper into me, and then
begin reading chapter one of The Great Gatsby.
Schedule & Homework
We will finish reading The Great Gatsby before the end of this 6 weeks. You
can count on there being for a major test grade, at least 1 test, as well as a final project to
be discussed later.
 This means that you need to keep up with your reading!! The good news is that there are
only 9 chapters in this novel!
 Please READ Ch 1 before next class and count on reading a new
chapter before all of our classes. That means only about 10 pages a
night. No excuses.
 While you are reading chapter 1, consider: Is Nick a reliable
narrator? Why or why not?
Write your thoughts down in a journal you will keep up with throughout your
semester with me. I will do random checks to see who is doing their homework.
Cite page #’s that prove your opinion of Nick. (1-2 paragraphs is an acceptable
length for your answer.)
In addition to your journal, I have passed out a reading guide with questions for
each chapter. It is your responsibility to keep up with this guide as you
read each night. Each answer need only be a couple full sentences. I will also do
random checks to ensure your success in my class.
Movie Trailers
Day 2
 “Think about a time in your life when you
formed an initial impression of someone that
turned out to be inaccurate. What did you
learn from that experience?”
 Your answer need only be about 2 paragraphs long.
If you have big handwriting I expect a full page. Your
responses will be collected and taken for a daily
completion grade.
 “Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry ‘Love, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!’
- Thomas Park D’Invilliers
Who are we introduced to?
 Tom Buchanan
 “I always had the impression that he approved of me and
wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of
his own” (13).
 Daisy
 Jordan Baker
 Jay Gatsby
 “a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other
person” (8).
 Idealism
Chapter 1 : Introduces our Narrator, Nick
 Who is Nick?
 Is he a reliable narrator, why or why not?
 ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told
me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world
haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’
 “I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that
has opened up many curious natures to me and also
made me the victim of not a few veteran bores.”
 PG 10: “As I walked on I was lonely no longer… I was
a guide.”
Setting (Place)
 East Egg
 West Egg
 Your homework over the break will be to READ chapter
ANSWER chapter two’s reading guide questions in at
least 1 full sentence; be sure to CITE (pg #) where you
find your answer.
DON’T WORRY about question #5, we will come back to
it later.
KEEP IN MIND the “houses” worksheet will be due
several weeks from now, which gives more than enough
time to finish it. It is worth at least 2 daily grades.