English 3 -- Salvas
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
1920’s Popular Culture
Fitzgerald published his novel in 1925, in the middle of the decade that would come to be known as “The Roaring Twenties.” This novel is especially interesting because in many ways it holds up a mirror to 1920’s culture and society. Fitzgerald depicts it quite well (and accurately) in this story, which is set on Long Island, and at times in Manhattan, in the summer of 1922. Unlike other novels we have read so far this year, this one is especially realistic because Fitzgerald is
writing about his society in which he lives while he is writing it.
Here is a list of 1920’s popular culture items which Fitzgerald and all the characters in the story would be familiar with on a daily basis; we should be, too.
-Speakeasy, Blind Pig, Prohibition, Bathtub Gin, Bootlegging, etc.
-Popular music and dance: Big Bands, The Charleston, etc.
-Art Deco style: Houses and furniture, interior furnishings, etc.
-American clothing styles, Girls with Bobbed Hair, etc. (Did you ever see
cuff links made from human teeth?)
-Typical/Popular Leisure activities
-Organized Crime and Al Capone, and others
-The Jazz Age and The Lost Generation
-Popular 1920’s slang: How did people speak?
-Professional sports and the Chicago Black Sox
-St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
-Popular makes of cars and their styles: What was a “coupé? A “roadster”?
-Popular magazines: The “Saturday Evening Post,” etc.
a. Typical 1920’s movies: What was the biggest difference between a
1920’s movie and one made today?
b. Later movies made about the 1920’s