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L'illusione infranta di Fitzgerald in ''The Great Gatsby''

Although more than seventy years have elapsed from its publication, The Great Gatsby has lost none of its appeal, but is instead being rediscovered over and over again by each new generation. Originally a purely romantic story, the novel expands into a minute and through description of a capitalist mass society and its dynamics, and of “ the last and the greatest of all human dreams”. The novel faithfully echoes the frantic beat of the Jazz Age, commonly known as the Roaring Twenties,when Fitzgerald and Gatsby’s generation was groping their way between the ruins of a pre-war world, which was lost to them, and a new world, whose outlines were not clear enough. It was a time when the effects of changes in social institutions, economic expansion, education, scientific discovery and population growth, were shacking the already-cracked pillars of the society, putting its virtues onto dare and its values into question. The world was in a desperate need of a dream, of an ideal. As the economic crisis was affecting the majority of population, captured by Fitzgerald under the names of the Wilsons and the Mc Kees, the capitalistic society decided to make use of the human need for an ideal and created a new cult of glamour .Fitzgerald was a direct witness of these changes and one of those who have striven all his life to participate in the cult of glamour. Once the social background is created, the author brings it to life by introducing a number of social types, rather than flesh-and-blood characters. The author cannot help himself in identifying Gatsby with the self-made-man ideology of Horatio Alger and Benjamin Franklin’s, an ideology so dear to the civil-war generations.By inserting his hero inside the leisure class, Fitzgerald makes another tribute to the cult of glamour: Gatsby is a romantic figure, and as such is doomed to failure, because this romantic vein of his, is useless to the capitalistic society. Through the portrayal of the Buchanans and Jordan Baker, the author makes a harsh comment on the moral decadence, crippled sensitivity and restlessness of the leisure class.The destiny of the lower classes and their constant striving towards fortune can be deciphered in the story of Wilsons. Both invisible and obtrusive, both marginalised and central, the Wilsons are destined to become the assassins of the ideal order. Mr Wolfsheim’s very name suggests his connection to crime, and his jewish origins make him representative of the other, indicating the problems raised by immigration. Nick Carraway stands for the ambivalence of the lost generation. Trapped between the values of the old world and the easy morality of the new, he becomes the perfect candidate for the narrator.The minute, painting-like description of the Jazz Age and its social types is given through the optics of an ambiguous, ambivalent narrator, who uses his narrator’s slant in a conscious, persistent manner. Fitzgerald does not even neglect the soundtrack for the story so we can often catch ourselves moving together with the characters to the rhythm of the black bottom or the shimmy.The Jazz Age was symbolized by the emancipated American woman—the flapper. The flapper—with her bobbed hair, rouged cheeks, and short skirts—symbolized the revolution in manners, morals, and values of the post-war era. The flapper awoke from her lethargy of subdebism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into battle. Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the exuberant and rebellious Montgomery teenager who married the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, became America's image of the flapper and the glamorous life of the 1920s.
The public idealized the Fitzgeralds as a happy couple, but under constant public scrutiny and beset by personal problems, Zelda and Scott struggled with a disintegrating marriage. Jay Gatsby spent a number of years trying to establish himself so that Daisy would approve of him. Little did he know that no matter how much money he made, she would never love him. He wasn't rich. Gatsby became a part of one of the largest money making endeavors of the 1920s. He became a bootlegger. The Volstead Act was passed in the summer of 1919. As a result, sale and distribution of alcohol became illegal. The social climate of the era did not respond to this regulation. Many people became involved in an underground movement to sell and distribute alcoholic beveratges. Through these illegal operations, Jay Gatsby was able to obtain enough money to purchase a home just across the bay from Daisy. His mysterious connections with Meyer Wolfshiem leave the reader with questions of the extent of Gatsby's involvement with the attempts to smuggle and consume alcohol in the 1920s.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
1 Introduzione a Francis Scott Fitzgerald A St. Paul, nel Minnesota, fiorente città commerciale e al tempo stesso conservatrice e aristocratica, nasce il 24 settembre 1896 Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Il padre Edward, un gentiluomo del sud che aveva fra i suoi ascendenti un membro del Parlamento, pur non appartenendo a una famiglia illustre, conservava una certa sensibilità e raffinatezza di modi. Il ramo materno della famiglia era invece irlandese e faceva parte di quella solida classe di commercianti che caratterizzava la cittadina di St. Paul. L’origine così diversa del padre e della madre ebbe non poca influenza sul carattere sensibile del futuro scrittore che percepì, fin dalla prima giovinezza, l’ambiguità della sua posizione sociale, soffrendone non poco specialmente nel periodo in cui frequentò la scuola e, più ancora, l’università. Nel 1898 la famiglia è costretta a trasferirsi a Buffalo, nello stato di New York, dopo il fallimento di un’impresa commerciale avviata dal padre. Qui risiede fino al 1908, tranne un breve periodo dal 1901 al 1903 passato a Syracuse. Dopo che il padre è licenziato, Fitzgerald ritorna con la famiglia a St.Paul. Incomincia a frequentare la St. Paul Academy e a scrivere qualcosa come, per esempio, un breve racconto poliziesco.

Tesi di Laurea

Facoltà: Lingue e Letterature Straniere

Autore: Laura Elisa Rosato Contatta »

Composta da 97 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 11179 click dal 20/03/2004.

 

Consultata integralmente 6 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.