The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Primary Source Set

One of the most iconic books in American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragic tale The Great Gatsby remains the quintessential literary depiction of the 1920s. Published in 1925, Gatsby explores Americans’ increasing disillusionment with the idea of the American dream during the glittery, overindulgent “Jazz Age.” The novel offers various American thematic elements: the struggle to escape the past, the intoxicating lure of wealth, the nostalgia of first love, and the impossible lengths humans go to achieve their dreams. These are better understood when accompanied by an exploration of cultural influences in the Roaring Twenties.

Additional resources for research

  1. Indomitable Spirits: Prohibition in the United States, Digital Public Library of America.

  2. The Roaring Twenties, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Age of Excess, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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