1. The background information about the times, the literary period, influences.

F. Scott Fitzgerald is perhaps the key literary representative of that tumultuous and decadent decade that began with a roar and ended with a crash. It was known as the “Roaring Twenties” and “it was a time of stark and sometimes startling contrasts in American life” ("America"). “America [roared] into the 1920’s after World War I with a renewed spirit and sense of optimism and no dream was beyond a person’s reach” ("Discovering"). Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean (1927). Babe Ruth hit a record breaking sixty homeruns (1927). Women fought for the right to vote and won (1920). Like the new movies of the time, women now had a voice. A “new “emancipated” woman [emerged], the flapper, demand[ing] to be recognized as man’s equal in all areas. She adopted a masculine look, bobbing her hair and abandoning corsets; she drank and smoked in public; and she was more open about sex” (“Jazz Age”). Automobiles filled bustling city streets. Prohibition (1920) prohibited the consumption of alcohol, but illegal barrooms, called speakeasies, flourished. Here, “flappers and philosophers” filled their glasses and toasted the prosperity of the times. Jazz music filled their carefree ears as they danced the Foxtrot, the Baltimore, and the Charleston .F. Scott Fitzgerald called it “The Jazz Age” and he filled page after page, painting a poignant portrait of the glamour and glitz of the era, as well as the gloom, when the collapse of the stock market crashed their party and brought on the era of The Great Depression.

F. Scott Fitzgerald belonged to that literary group of modernist ex-patriot artists living in France known as “the Lost Generation.” The modernists of the lost generation “mirrored the shattered dreams and empty, irresolute lives of the young, disillusioned post-war generation” ("FITZGERALD, F Scott").F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway are the best known modernist writers of the lost generation.They “criticized American culture in creative fictional stories which had the themes of self-exile, indulgence (care-free living) and spiritual alienation. For example, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby shows the young generation of the 1920's masking their general depression behind the forced exuberance of the Jazz Age. [The] illusion of happiness hides a sad loneliness for the main characters” ("The Lost Generation").“The dominant influences on F. Scott Fitzgerald were aspiration, literature, Princeton, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, and alcohol” (Bruccoli).

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