Themes of F Scott – Still Relevant Today

As relevant today as it was in F. Scotts’ day:

Central Theme

The corruption and failure of the American Dream, and the false and distorted forms in which that dream exists in the modern world.

Secondary Themes and Concerns

American History: The birth, growth, and withering of the American dream. Fitzgerald focuses on the withering of the dream (i.e., on the progressive and inevitable destruction of romantic idealism by realistic materialism, and on the false and distorted forms in which the dreams now exists.

Illusion and Reality: the problem of determining the hidden boundary in the American vision of life, the point at which the reality ends and the illusion begins; the disparity between, as well as the confusion of the glamour, beauty, and value of things as they appear or seem to be; and the ugliness, corruption, and empty worthlessness of things as they are.

The Doomed Idealist: the heir of the romantic idealism of early America who believes in and pursues the American dream. The romantic idealist in modern America inevitably comes into conflict with—and is doomed to disillusionment or death by—the brutal realism and materialism that characterize modern America.

Wealth: power, glamour, freedom, promise, the means by which the American dream is to be realized; corruption, betrayal, ruthlessness, the means by which the dream becomes false and distorted; the fulfillment and the destruction of the dream.

Youth: the expectation, vitality, glamour, and promise of romantic idealism; belief in the infinite possibilities of life.

Maturity: the inevitable disillusionment which accompanies the realization of the limits, frustrations, and broken dreams of life’s experiences lead to.

Beauty: perfection, splendor, the ideal, the realization of the desire; corruption, sterility waste, the illusion which leads to destruction and disillusionment (usually symbolized by a beautiful and wealthy girl).

Economic Classes: Fitzgerald’s realization of the ways in which money (the lack of it, a moderate amount of it, the amassing of a great amount of it, and the inheritance of great wealth) determines character, manners, and lifestyle in America.

A. The Poor: the poor are without life or hope.

B. The Middle Class: with a few exceptions (most notably Nick Carraway), the middle class is devoted to the dream of material success; to the worship of wealth, the wealthy, and the possessions and lifestyle of the wealthy; and to striving (as well as emulating) to rise to become one of the wealthy.

C. The Newly Rich: they have risen from poverty or middle class status into the romantic glamour of wealth by pursuing and realizing the dream of success.

D. The Established Wealth: the American aristocracy.

Young Wealthy: romantic, glamorous princes and princesses of America; self-centered, callous, careless, and beautiful.

Mature Wealthy: powerful, class-conscious, and ruthless.

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About creatornorthshoregirl

Patti (Lyons-Gooderham) Henderson is an innovative Director hosting a steady career in communications and entertainment. Patti's journey has included extensive research into her own genealogy; encouraging her curiosity and passion in finding story and motivation of character. She started in the world of journalism which took her to multiple countries in a variety of positions, eventually writing, assistant editing and field producing for MUCHMUSIC and MOVIETV. As a fiction Writer, her first feature script BENEATH THE SURFACE, won top prize from Praxis Screenwriters/I.A.T.S.E. script competition. With a thirst for learning the science of Film and TV making, she has worked for a multitude of productions in the capacity of Script Supervisor including RV, EIGHT BELOW, A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, FRINGE, LOST IN SPACE, XFILES to name a few and as an Editor for shorts, TV series and Features. Her growth in the industry continues with the addition of working in VFX, on and off set. Patti has been a maverick in filmmaking. With the support of Sony Canada, National Film Board of Canada and BC Film, she spearheaded and directed UP THE WALL that was the first new technology (digital video-35mm) project to be shot in Canada in 1997, that included title on picture, VFX and finished in three formats. She has Directed and Co-Produced branding videos, sizzle reels for factual/lifestyle programs, corporates and fundraising videos, as well as 11 projects for the VFS Portfolio Shorts Program. Her work has played at national and international festivals, and aired on various North American Networks. For CBC, she Directed and Edited SALMON ENCHANTED EVENING which, after being selected from over 350 scripts, was produced and nominated for seven LEO FILM AWARDS winning best editor and best sound design. Patti is an Alumnae of WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR (WIDC), which chooses 8 women from across Canada to participate in the program at The Banff Centre each year. Her focus has, and always will be, storytelling. Her unique upbringing, combined with years of experience in the entertainment industry has helped to shape her into a vibrant Director with the ability, through passion, knowledge and experience, to elevate a wide range of scripts. Her latest work is writing a YA Novella series, with an eye on developing it into a TV series. She lives and works in the UK and Canada.
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