Critical Analysis F Scott Fitzgerald English Literature Essay

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Throughout history there have been many different forms of literature, whether it is romantic literature, European literature, classical literature, contemporary literature, or American literature, there are always those who master its arts and use this mastery to his or her advantage. Whether it is William Shakespeare with his works Shakespearian drama or George Orwell's magnificent work with the allegorical referencing in the novel about Russian Stalinism entitled Animal Farm, there is the evident relation between artists and their works of literary triumph, one not only of determination but one of passion and a desire to be the best. Franklin Scott Key Fitzgerald is one of the best examples of these literary artists.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896 in the town of St. Paul, Minnesota. He was given the name Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald because he was distantly related to Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" which is the national anthem of the great country The United States Of America (Bruccoli). Because of his relation to him the Fitzgerald's had an overwhelming sense of nationalistic pride for the United States (hints naming their son after the writer of the national anthem). This is what also gave them so much pride in the father's heritage (Bruccoli).

During 1911-1913 Fitzgerald attended the Newman School, which was a Catholic prep school in New Jersey. After the Newman school Francis Scott Fitzgerald went on to Princeton and was a part of the Princeton class of 1917 (Bruccoli). During his time at Princeton, Fitzgerald did not perceive to have much "indulgence" in his studies; he spent his time working on his literary apprenticeship (Bruccoli). He wrote the scripts and lyrics for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals and was a contributor to the Princeton Tiger magazine. He was also a contributor to the Nassau Literary Magazine. While he was a freshman, Fitzgerald won 1914-1915 competition for the Triangle Club show with the lyrics for the play "Fie! Fie! Fie!" but his grades kept him from performing in the play (Cody).

Fitzgerald joined the army in 1917 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry. During his time in the military, Fitzgerald thought that he was definitely going to die so he quickly wrote the novel "The Romantic Egotist." In June 1918 Fitzgerald was assigned to Camp Sheridan, which is near Montgomery, Alabama. While he was there he fell in love with eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre, who was the daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. After Fitzgerald was discharged in 1919 he went to New York City to seek his fortune in order to marry his love life Zelda. But due to the lack of money Zelda broke off the engagement (Bruccoli).

In 1919, he quit his job and wrote the novel This Side of Paradise, a literary representation of post-World War 1 life in America that talks about Amory Blaine, the son of Stephan and Beatrice Blaine. Beatrice, his mother, was a beautiful and wealthy woman who gave Amory his personality. Stephan, his father, is described as an "ineffectual, inarticulate man with a taste for Byron and a habit of drowsing over the Encyclopedia Britannica, grew wealthy at thirty through the death of two elder brothers, successful Chicago brokers, and in the first flush of feeling that the world was his, went to Bar Harbor and met Beatrice O'Hara" (This Side of Paradise 5). Fitzgerald divides the plot of his novel into two books. Book one, entitled The Romantic Egotist and book two, entitled The Education of a Personage, which shows the process by which Amory. Book two switches from being told as a life story to a sort of long monologue. In the life story point of view, Fitzgerald makes a sort of general view while the way that the long monologue is used is more of an opinion. In between these two books there is a sort of intermission that is made of two letters that describe Amory and his the experiences he had during world war one. This is suggests that the war separated Amory's life in two portions. The effect of these various narrative strategies is original and it conveys the impetuous self-confidence of Fitzgerald and his fictional protagonist brings a focus on Amory's childhood, youth at St. Regis, a boarding school where he struggles both communally and scholastically, where other schoolboys think he is self-important, and his teachers consider him absent of chastisement, but quite intellectual, and livelihood at Princeton University (This Side of Paradise). These are illustrated with the chapters of these "books" being divided into headings such as Snapshots of the Young Egotist (14), A Kiss for Amory (8) and Preparatory To The Great Adventure (17).

The books that the novel are separated into are essentially equivalent, Amory moves toward a dream, falls in love with a good-looking woman who disheartens him, he then descends into despondency but soon convalescing his indispensable person, and prepares to move on to the next dream. The plot of This Side of Paradise moves in two ways, straight forward and a sort of coming of self. It progresses forward because it moves Amory's life in a type of straight line from childhood to adulthood. It shows coming of self because Amory's life switches from happiness to despair to a recollection of self that pushes Amory throughout life. The most prominent symbol in this tome would have to be ambivalence of the past. Amory's first encounter with the manifestation of the past perhaps elucidates his ambivalence about the apparitions that torment his life and mind. Amory finds himself in a hotel room with a woman named Asia, about to give in to evil.

This Side of Paradise's Amory Blair characterizes Fitzgerald in an overabundance of ways. First, both Fitzgerald and Amory Blair fall face first into a love that would not work out at a young age. Second, they both are veterans of World War 1. Third and lastly, where Fitzgerald went to Princeton University Amory Blair also attended Princeton, and there both slacked at their schoolwork.

In the winter of 1919 Fitzgerald started his career as a writer of short-stories for magazines. Working through his agent Harold Ober, Fitzgerald temporarily stopped working on his novels to write popular fiction for the rest of his life. The publication of This Side of Paradise on March 26, 1920, made Francis Scott Fitzgerald, who was twenty-four-years-old at the time, famous almost overnight, and a week later he married his love Zelda Sayre in the city of New York. Francis Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald moved into an apartment in New York City which is where he wrote his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (Bruccoli). They took their first trip to Europe in 1921 when Zelda Fitzgerald became pregnant and then they settled in St. Paul for the birth of their only child, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, who was born in October 1921 (Bruccoli).

In the springtime of 1924 the Fitzgerald family went to France so that he could have some peace and tranquility for him to work on his writing. Unfortunately, the marriage hit a rough patch when Zelda had with French naval aviator Edouard Jozan. In Rome Fitzgerald spent the winter of 1924 working on and revising his novel The Great Gatsby (Bruccoli). Fitzgerald dedicated The Great Gatsby to Zelda Fitzgerald, his loving and caring wife. The Great Gatsby opens up the 1920s during the post-World War 1 America during the time of the great depression. The novel starts with a quote by nick about criticizing others: "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. 'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had (The Great Gatsby 3).'" The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald's most illustrious novel, and is one of the most read novels in American literature. The reason behind The Great Gatsby's triumph is fundamentally due to influence that Fitzgerald's personal life had on it. The Great Gatsby contains numerous parallels between Fitzgerald's life and this novel. These correspondences go from constructing characters off of important people from his personal life to intermingling sophisticated love affiliations that Fitzgerald went through into the novel to recreating the American Dream. Many parts of the novel seem to reconstruct potential segments of Fitzgerald's younger life. One of the main examples of the parallelisms that Fitzgerald used was that he seemed to re-embody himself into two of the main characters in The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, and Nick Carraway. Nick characterizes Fitzgerald's indecisive and observant characteristics. In dissimilarity however, Gatsby expresses Fitzgerald's enthusiastic and energetic characteristics. Another huge character Fitzgerald seemed to select from his life appeared to be Zelda, who was his wife of 27 years at the time, who was transformed into the character Daisy. Both Zelda and her fictional counterpart was the object of want for Fitzgerald and his fictitious equivalent Gatsby.

There were many themes that stand out to the reader in the novel The Great Gatsby. One theme that that is evident throughout the novel is carelessness. Carelessness played an important role in depicting the personality of the main characters. Daisy, Tom, Jordan, Gatsby and Nick were all uncaring at some points during the book. Daisy and Tom were inconsiderate about their relationship, their monetary standings, and many of their everyday undertakings. Gatsby was also unconcerned with his money and Jordan was indifferent about the attitude that she showed towards other people. Nick gives a good explanation on how careless people were: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made (The Great Gatsby 189)."

The theme of social classes can be evidently seen throughout The Great Gatsby through the interactions between the different characters such as Nick and Gatsby or Tom and George Wilson. The theme of social classes can relate directly to the theme of money. Money is stated in a very indirect way that fueled the fire between Tom and Gatsby. The themes that F. Scott Fitzgerald conveyed to the readers were very important topics during the 1920's whether they were more indirect or more obvious. During one of Gatsby's parties that Daisy and Tom attended, Tom calls Gatsby, New Money, which means that Gatsby is recklessly wasting away his money and that he also became wealthy very fast out of nowhere. Another term used with money is old money. Old money basically means that the money stayed within the family and the money was handed down as a part of an inheritance. During the party, Tom called Gatsby a bootlegger because Gatsby obtained a lot of money very rapidly. Tom does not like the newly rich people because he feels as if they cheated to get rich. He feels as if they worked for their money but they went about it in an illegal way. Earned money versus inherited money is a constant theme that plays a role in the tension between Gatsby and Tom (The Great Gatsby 115).

Years went by and Fitzgerald wrote many works of literature, both novels and short stories, all of which were loved by all. One that seemed to stand out above the rest was The Love of The Last Tycoon. Fitzgerald was not able to finish the novel due to the fact that he died of a heart attack in Graham's apartment on December 21, 1940 after he had written more than half of a working draft. Zelda Fitzgerald perished at a fire in Highland Hospital in 1948 (Bruccoli). In F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel, The Love of The Last Tycoon, the main character, Monroe Stahr, fights for control in his life both individually and professionally. The story look at the innermost mechanisms of Hollywood and how one studio executive, Stahr, responds to the changes in the era that are alternating the movie business. Fitzgerald's character Stahr uses supremacy and ability to govern the world around him in order to institute purpose and reason in his existence. He believed that Life is made up of moving pieces that are disordered and unplanned and attempting to control these pieces, and how they work, is an implausible objective that will eventually lead to defeat. Although the story and life of Stahr does not have an conclusion, the reader can see Fitzgerald's intentions through the notes on the novel. The story points to the presumption that Stahr was meant to die in a plane crash. The story opens up on an airplane with the narration of Cecilia Brady who is in love with Stahr and hopes to marry him. The chance encounters and condition of the flight start her on a path that she could not have controlled. The incomplete novel ends with the lines, "That's how the two weeks started that he and I went around together. It only took one of them for Louella to have us married" (151). From the very first time that Stahr and Kathleen to the first date and all the way to the time they came back to Stahr's house, Kathleen gave mixed signals about her feelings towards Stahr. Stahr did not seem to notice this back and forth in her but the reader can see it from the very beginning. When Stahr asks her out for the first time, she say "no, and thank you" (76), as she knows subconsciously that she could develop genuine feelings toward him.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American author known for his novels that depicted the Jazz Age, and for his colorful life of drinking, partying, and excessive spending during the twenties. Although Fitzgerald wrote about the privileged world of glamour, fame, and wealth in a negative light that portrayed the rich as insincere and seemingly cursed because of their social status, the majority of his life he actually begrudged and appreciated the rich and illustrious. At the pinnacle of his literary career, Fitzgerald wrote This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and The Damned, and The Great Gatsby, which are the three novels for which he is most well-known for writing.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He went through his life as one of the best writers to ever live. He died on December 21, 1940 of a heart attack, leaving his novel The Love of The Last Tycoon unfinished which keeps readers in the dark with how it was actually pictured to end in Fitzgerald's head. The dominant influences on F. Scott Fitzgerald were aspiration, literature, Princeton, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, and alcohol (Bruccoli).

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