Lodge California Meets the Nice Gatsby – Music As a Educating Useful resource For Literature

Essentially the most well-known creative product of the boozy 1920’s is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Nice Gatsby, a novel a couple of man attempting to recreate a really perfect previous in a drunken, materialistic current. It’s a type of books nearly everybody has a powerful impression of whether or not or not they’ve really learn it – which makes it exhausting for a lot of to strategy the story with contemporary eyes.

In case you’re a instructor searching for attention-grabbing, related methods to dig into The Nice Gatsby, why not attempt one thing like this on for measurement: the 1920’s have been to WWI what the 1970’s have been to the hippy motion. The unprecedented international carnage following the so-called “Battle to Finish All Wars” turned disillusioned Individuals inwards, setting their priorities on cash, bootlegged liquor, and partying. Equally, after the hippies didn’t elevate worldwide consciousness with peace, love, and patchouli oil, 1970’s America drowned its sorrows in disco, medication, and polyester pants.

As an project, have your college students evaluate The Nice Gatsby to a 1970’s tune on this similar vein. Take, for instance, The Eagles’ Lodge California, one of many best-selling and most recognizable songs from this (or any) period of American historical past.

Lodge California boasts a number of the most analyzed and memorized lyrics in rock and roll. If the aspect of thriller means rather a lot to you, you’ll most likely be upset to listen to Don Henley’s two cents: “It’s mainly a tune in regards to the darkish underbelly of the American dream.” Not {that a} bunch of rock stars would know something about that. In different phrases, the image of Californian prosperity (again when that also existed) stands in as a microcosm of American decadence within the 1970’s.

The “resort” (wink, wink) California is not any Motel 6. It has mirrored ceilings, courtyards, grasp’s chambers, pink champagne, and high-falutin’ visitors. The narrator can’t assist however discover the seductive lady with a Benz, a thoughts that’s “Tiffany-twisted,” and numerous sizzling guys following her round. He asks for wine, to which the captain famously replies, “We haven’t had that spirit right here since 1969.” Since wine isn’t a spirit (and we’re betting The Eagles have a fundamental understanding of liquor), we’re going to go forward and assume Henley is referring to some different spirit of ’69.

In a creepy flip of occasions, there’s then a beast-killing ceremony involving “steely knives,” which prompts the narrator to high-tail it “again to the place [he] was earlier than.” Solely when it’s too late does he understand that he can “take a look at” however “by no means depart.” How, pray inform, can an individual be checked out with out going anyplace bodily? We’re pondering there is perhaps some chemistry concerned.

So let’s overview: luxurious, substance abuse, a lovely temptress, materialism, violence, residing previously, and being trapped. Remind you of anybody?

As a rule of thumb, music is among the finest instructor assets as a result of it may be deeply private and simply relatable on the similar time. Plus, the truth that lyrics are normally extremely open to interpretation means your college students will likely be placing in much more work than they assume.