Anglais Terminale

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The Atmosphere of the 20s

Activity 2
WB p. 22

The Atmosphere of the 20s

Read the text.
Then, click on your path!


Workbook p. 22

The Great Gatsby

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York — every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb.

The Great Gatsby, Chapter 3, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925.


Introduce the text and sum it up in a few sentences.

Pick out elements about Gatsby’s parties.

Find words showing his wealth and glamorous lifestyle.

Useful vocabulary: It is emphasized by… The mood is… His wealth is highlighted by…
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What type of text is it? Who is the narrator?

What is he describing? What does he emphasize?

Describe how the mood of 1920s America is conveyed.

Useful vocabulary: I think he might be…The narrator brings into focus... The atmosphere echoes / parallels…
Voir la correction

Let's talk this out!

Share your findings with your classmates.

What does Gatsby’s lifestyle reveal about the atmosphere of the 20s?

b. How was society structured at this time?

In what ways can outsiders see into Gatsby’s private sphere?
Voir la correction


  • fascinated (adj.)
  • opulent / extravagant (adj.)
  • ostentatious /ˌɒstɛnˈtɛɪʃəs/ (adj.)
  • extravagantly / lavishly (adv.)
  • into focus (exp.)
  • upper class (n.)

Let’s learn!


In groups of four, make a sentence using one word from the toolbox describing and analysing the extract.

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On your way to the task ❯❯ Step 1

Creative writing contest

Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

Imagine you are Nick, the narrator of the text above. Write an extra paragraph to follow the excerpt above. Make sure you describe what you see and how you feel. Immerse the reader in the mood of 1920s America.

Voir la correction
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