Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
The Great Gatsby depicts the indulgence and gaudiness of the wealthy, high class American society of the 1920’s, also known as the Jazz Age. The novel details elaborate buffets for hundreds of guests, gaudy fashion styles, big band music and sensual dancing of the Roaring 20’s. The objective of this lesson is to examine the music verses Fitzgerald mentions in the novel and how they reveal the atmosphere of the times.
Class Discussion: Discuss the first mention of jazz music in the novel, “Jazz History of the World” by Vladimir Tostoff. The passage also mentions how Tostoff caused a sensation at Carnegie Hall. What does Tostoff’s performance at Gatsby’s party reveal about Gatsby’s character? What is Gatsby trying to recreate by making jazz music an important part of his parties? How does the reaction of the girls at Gatsby’s party after...
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