There he also met the love of his life, Zelda Sayre, the charming, mercurial daughter of a judge. Fitzgerald's early literary successes soon made him and Zelda celebrities of the Jazz Age—a term he coined.
During the s, Zelda served as his editor, confidante, and rival. Their appetite for excess made them notorious in an age when excess was the norm. The Fitzgeralds moved to France in with their young daughter, Frances nicknamed Scottie , where they fell among a group of American expatriate artists whom the writer Gertrude Stein christened the Lost Generation. Fitzgerald would not publish another novel for nine years.
In , Zelda suffered a breakdown from which she never fully recovered. She spent most of her remaining days in mental institutions. Implicitly acknowledging his wife's mental illness and his own alcoholism, he drew on their life abroad in the novel Tender Is the Night Fitzgerald relocated to Hollywood in to write screenplays. His sole screen credit from this period is for the film Three Comrades It joins his other script credit, Pusher-in-the-Face , from an earlier California stint. Eventually Fitzgerald began sustained work on his novel The Last Tycoon Tragically, his end came before the book's did.
Several chapters shy of finishing, Fitzgerald died of a heart attack in the apartment of his Hollywood companion, columnist Sheilah Graham, while eating a chocolate bar and listening to Beethoven's Eroica symphony. December 21, : Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack. His final address: N. Laurel Avenue, Los Angeles, California. The National Endowment for the Arts' audio guide on F. Skip to main content. Introduction to the Book F. Scott Fitzgerald, c.
The Way Up Although Fitzgerald's father went bankrupt, Fitzgerald still played with the rich kids in town. The Way Down Fitzgerald would not publish another novel for nine years. The novel's action occurs in between June and September. How does Nick's nonchronological narration shape your response to the events surrounding the mystery of Jay Gatsby?
Nick believes he is an honest, nonjudgemental narrator. Do you agree? Gatsby believes that the past can be repeated. Is he right? Why does Daisy sob into the "thick folds" of Gatsby's beautiful shirts? What do the faded eyes of Doctor T. Eckleburg symbolize? Is there a connection between this billboard and the green light at the end of Daisy's dock? Perhaps the novel's climax occurs when Gatsby confronts Tom in New York.
Did Daisy's ultimate choice surprise you? Is it consistent with her character? Do you agree with Nick's final assertion that Gatsby is "worth the whole damn bunch put together"? Why or why not? How does Fitzgerald foreshadow the tragedies at the end? Does the novel critique or uphold the values of the Jazz Age and the fears of the Lost Generation? Fitzgerald wrote, "You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked - and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts. We talked for a few minutes on the sunny porch. Turning me around by one arm he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep pungent roses and a snub-nosed motor boat that bumped the tide off shore.
The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling - and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it - indeed I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in. The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise - she leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expression - then she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room.
That was a way she had. She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl was Baker. I've heard it said that Daisy's murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming. At any rate Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly and then quickly tipped her head back again - the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.
I looked back at my cousin who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Excerpted from The Great Gatsby by F. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. Acknowledgements Introduction F. James Dickey Now we have an American masterpiece in its final form: the original crystal has shaped itself into the true diamond.
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This is the novel as Fitzgerald wished it to be, and so it is what we have dreamed of, sleeping and waking. This Scribner reading group guide for The Great Gatsby includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
He rents a tiny house in West Egg, dwarfed by a mansion owned by the most celebrated host of the season, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby and Daisy fell in love years ago, but the war and Tom Buchanan came between them. How does this short poem set the scene for the novel to come? Why do you think Fitzgerald would open The Great Gatsby with a fictional epigraph, rather than a real quote or poem? Compare East Egg and West Egg.
What kinds of people settle on each side of the bay? Why would a couple like the Buchanans reside in East Egg, and men like Nick and Gatsby on the other side?
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How does the division between these two villages compare to differences between the American East and West? Discuss the role of honesty in The Great Gatsby. Which characters pride themselves on telling the truth? How does duplicity affect the relationship between Nick and Jordan, and the marriage of Tom and Daisy? What falsehoods has Gatsby relied upon to advance in society? How is each party enlivened by booze, romance, and chaos? How are the guests at each party similar, and how are they different? Consider the role of gossip in the novel.
The Great Gatsby
Why does public opinion have such a strong hold over the characters in the novel? How does this chapter serve as a turning point in the novel? Compare James Gatz to the man he became: Jay Gatsby. How did he make his transition to Gatsby? What elements from his past did he retain, even as he left his identity behind?
Eyes are a prominent feature throughout the novel — T. What is the significance of this theme of surveillance? Who is being watched throughout the novel? Why is he so eager to go back to life before he went to war, when he was a young officer in love with Daisy?
What has Gatsby lost and gained since those days in Louisville? Why does she turn back to Tom, instead of choosing a life with Gatsby? Discuss how class and affects the romances in the novel. Would Daisy be just as alluring without her status? Would Gatsby or Tom be attractive without their fortunes? Why or why not? Consider the setting of the novel: Long Island. Can you imagine this story within another time or place?
Do you consider The Great Gatsby timeless, or do you think its characters and themes are deeply rooted in the postwar prosperity of the Roaring Twenties? Consider the symbol of the green light. What dreams and hopes does the light stand for? If this was your first time reading The Great Gatsby , discuss what you knew about this American classic before you began reading, and how it met or defied your expectations.
Do you understand it differently today than you did in the past? Enhance Your Book Club 1. Come to your book club meeting dressed like your favorite Great Gatsby character! Does the prose have a different impact when read aloud? See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books.
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Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Scott Fitzgerald. Overview A true classic of twentieth-century literature, this edition has been updated by Fitzgerald scholar James L. The Great Gatsby , F. First published in , this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. About the Author. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in That same year he married Zelda Sayre and for the next decade the couple lived in New York, Paris, and on the Riviera. He died at the age of forty-four while working on The Last Tycoon.
Fitzgerald's fiction has secured his reputation as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.
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