May Day – one of the stories, which entered in a collection of eleven short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald «Tales of the Jazz Age» (1922).
Published as a novelette in The Smart Set in July, 1920, «May Day» relates a series of events which took place in the spring of the previous year, during the «general hysteria» which inaugurated the Jazz Age.
The story uses the May Day Riots of 1919 as historical backdrop. During these events, as the lower-class is fighting for certain causes, a group of privileged Yale alumni meet for a dance.
The story is noteworthy for its length, the familiar themes of lost youth and wealth as well as two distinct yet interrelated plots. All were aspects Fitzgerald would revisit throughout his literary career. Fitzgerald described the story as illustrating a «general hysteria…that inaugurated the Jazz Age…»
During the story a Jewish man is beat up by a crowd as he expounds socialist rhetoric. Fitzgerald, however, was not an anti-semite, and his characterizing of the Jewish man can be seen as a commentary of the brutality of the crowd contrasted with the man's wit and fervor.
Famous works of the author F. S. Fitzgerald: «This Side of Paradise», «The Beautiful and Damned», «The Great Gatsby», «Tender Is the Night», «The Last Tycoon», «The Diamond as Big as the Ritz», «May Day», «The Rich Boy», «The Curious Case of Benjamin Button», «The Offshore Pirate», «The Ice Palace», «Head and Shoulders», «The Cut-Glass Bowl», «Bernice Bobs Her Hair», «Benediction», «Tales of the Jazz Age».