Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




A curious, but important, relationship exists between the social history of a particular age and the imaginative literature of the same period. The writings in both areas become major sources of knowledge about that era for readers in future generations. The following thesis is the outgrowth, in part, of this interest – an examination of the concept of the flapper in the early works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. For years Fitzgerald has been regarded as the chronicler of his Age. As early as 1920 he was heralded by the public as “Spokesman for the Younger Generation,” and although he seems to have been baffled at first by receiving this almost accidental distinction,1 he soon accepted the appellation and even encouraged this image of himself.2 Fitzgerald became an immediate success with the publication of his novel, This Side of Paradise in the spring of 1920; he was lionized by young people, “simply,” he later reminisced, “for telling. . .[them] that he felt as they did,”3 Furthermore, present culture, like 1920s culture, has been influenced by “image makers” who promote, often with great success, ideals in stylish appearance and behavior, and who thereby help to determine the nation’s cultural tastes.7 Just as the impact of the Beatles has extended far beyond the world of popular music (and has led trends in dress, manners, even language characteristics), so did Fitzgerald’s influence have repercussions in non-literary aspect of his society.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940 -- Criticism and interpretation




South Dakota State University