The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Great Gatsby - context/background

At the beginning of the lesson, sir played a Charleston song and asked us to come up with 5 words that we thought summed up the music; most of our idea's included being jazzy, upbeat and happy. Afterwards sir put up 9 pictures and for us to describe what each picture symbolized.

The class discussion came up with lots of different views which the pictures represented:
- womens freedom, sexual freedom
- showbiz, glitz, glamour
- modernization, industrialization
- capitalism, cities, business's were all becoming increasingly popular.

We then watched a trailer for broadwalk empire, shown on sky atlantic, 9pm saturdays -channel 108. We were adivsed to watch this programme to give deeper understanding of the time that The Great Gatsby was set in.

Afterwards sir put us into pairs to discuss different terms used to describe America between 1918-1939. These included:
- the roaring 20's - lively, breaking boundaries, wild people, a boundless and free period of time
- the pre-depression era - fun, American dream, economic boom, irresponsible
- the lost generation - independent, new, breaking rules, no respect, women equality, partying
- golden 20's - extravagant, wealthy, materialistic, classy, grand, upbeat. 'golden' - worse after?
- golden ages of hollywood- new, energetic, innovative, money, power, lavish, vacuous
- prohibition era - keeping order, authority, law abiding, backlash, paranoia, period of restriction
- inter war - happiness once the first war was over, depression at another world war occurring
- la generation de feau (generation of fire) - european influence, culture, france well established,
- bright young things - activity, progression, hope, initiative, positive, change
- flapper era - fashionable, unconventional, fun, classy, fashionable, glitzy, glamorous, defiance

We were done asked to come up with a haiku to some everything we discussed, mine was-
vibrant new changes,
in society is what
made women equal.

Sir then put a quote on the board 'America was going on the greatest and gaudiest spree in hisory' - Fitzgerald. We then analysed the epigraph at the beginning of the book which reads 'Than wear the gold hat, if that will move her; if you can bounce high, bounce for her too, till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, bouncing lover, I must have you!" '. We came up with the conclusion that this meant if you have the money and material objects, than you will eventually win the girl.

We then discussed Nick the narrator of the play and how he is a first person retrospective narrator, meaning that he is recalling events. This has two effects on the reader, first it makes the narration less reliable because it is coming from Nick's point of view, however because he is recalling events he has the ability to give these events a fairer portrayal and be less biased.

Our Homework was to comment on this blog, re-read chapter 1 and answer this question.. What impression do we get of Nick in chapter 1? use evidence from chapter 1.

and the blog is up quickly, so no excuses B-)



  1. Roaring 20's can also be referred to as the Jazz Age

  2. Niccccccccccce blog!
    Chris, how do you get a chinese character next to your name???????!


  3. Thanks for the blog, very informative
    Btw, watch "Boardwalk Empire" - its awesome


  4. nice blog leigh....nuff said ;)


  5. Woow u did that over a short time period, well done Leigh :D anyway good luck writing the essay is harder than the poetry essays. Aisha

  6. Yes Aisha i too had difficulties writing the essay.

    Esmeralda ;)

  7. What essay are you guys talking about? :S

    Good Post Leigh.