Hotel California Meets the Great Gatsby – Music As a Teaching Resource For Literature

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

The most famous artistic product of the boozy 1920’s is usually F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a novel about a man trying to recreate an ideal past in a drunken, materialistic present. This kind of’s one of those books just about everyone includes a strong impression of whether or not they’ve actually read This kind of – which makes This kind of hard for many to approach the story with fresh eyes.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

If you’re a teacher looking for interesting, relevant ways to dig into The Great Gatsby, why not try something like This kind of on for size: the 1920’s were to WWI what the 1970’s were to the hippy movement. The unprecedented global carnage following the so-called “War to End All Wars” turned disillusioned Americans inwards, setting their priorities on money, bootlegged liquor, in addition to partying. Similarly, after the hippies failed to elevate worldwide consciousness with peace, love, in addition to patchouli oil, 1970’s America drowned its sorrows in disco, drugs, in addition to polyester pants.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

As an assignment, have your students compare The Great Gatsby to a 1970’s song in This kind of same vein. Take, for example, The Eagles’ Hotel California, one of the best-selling in addition to most recognizable songs by This kind of (or any) era of American history.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

Hotel California boasts some of the most analyzed in addition to memorized lyrics in rock in addition to roll. If the element of mystery means a lot to you, you’ll probably be disappointed to hear Don Henley’s two cents: “This kind of’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream.” Not that will a bunch of rock stars could know anything about that will. In different words, the symbol of Californian prosperity (back when that will still existed) stands in as a microcosm of American decadence inside 1970’s.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

The “hotel” (wink, wink) California is usually no Motel 6. This kind of has mirrored ceilings, courtyards, master’s chambers, pink champagne, in addition to high-falutin’ guests. The narrator can’t help yet notice the seductive woman having a Benz, a mind that will’s “Tiffany-twisted,” in addition to a lot of hot guys following her around. He asks for wine, to which the captain famously replies, “We haven’t had that will spirit here since 1969.” Since wine isn’t a spirit (in addition to we’re betting The Eagles have a basic understanding of liquor), we’re going to go ahead in addition to assume Henley is usually referring to some different spirit of ’69.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

In a creepy turn of events, there is usually then a beast-killing ceremony involving “steely knives,” which prompts the narrator to high-tail This kind of “back to the place [he] was before.” Only when This kind of’s too late does he realize that will he can “check out” yet “never leave.” How, pray tell, can a person be checked out without going anywhere physically? We’re thinking there might be some chemistry involved.

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

So let’s review: luxury, substance abuse, a beautiful temptress, materialism, violence, living inside past, in addition to being trapped. Remind you of anyone?

Hotel California Meets The Great Gatsby - Music As A Teaching Resource For Literature

As a rule of thumb, music is usually one of the best teacher resources because This kind of can be deeply personal in addition to easily relatable at the same time. Plus, the fact that will lyrics are usually highly open to interpretation means your students will be putting in a lot more work than they think.

Hotel California Meets the Great Gatsby – Music As a Teaching Resource For Literature

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