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Analysis of This Side of Paradise

3205 words (13 pages) Essay in Literature

18/05/20 Literature Reference this

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“This Side of Paradise” is a title that Fitzgerald has taken from a poem narrated by Rupert Brooke who used to be one of the top poets during the early 20th century. Brooke’s poems were about war and mostly about World War I. Such poems therefore made Brooke famous around the world. The title means that heaven is waiting for individuals at the end of their lives which means that people’s time on earth is mainly spent on crossing to heaven. The novel is developed in a more sensation manner where the author has presented the reveal of the story in form of a modernist fiction hence challenging literature in a traditional manner. Fitzgerald’s novel has helped in giving the young generation a voice. The novel begins with the setting of the characterization of the protagonist’s childhood and an upbringing. Fitzgerald tends to narrate the story with a description of the setting using the language that is in a poetic manner. The main reason as to why the author has used a poetic language is to enhance straightforwardness where his main character Amory only notices one thing which is the world around him. However, most of Fitzgerald’s description regarding the setting of the novel happen to be in a meditative tone with a similar deep since Amory’s thoughts are associated with deep thoughts of love success and life. The main aim of the research paper is to conduct a scientific study regarding the unique and creative styles of Fitzgerald in the literary movements while reflecting on his impressive and creative works on the novel.

Fitzgerald utilizes various literary devices including symbolism throughout this novel. The major symbols that Fitzgerald has applied include: “World War I, New York City, the slicker, Self-realization, family and love and alcohol” (Shain). The novel contains a great deal of symbolism which clarifies intentions that are thematic to the readers. The symbols that the author has used are more relatable to readers hence allowing readers to understand the speaker’s mindset. The author’s use of symbolism contains an insight that encourages motivation to characters.

World War I is one of the major symbols that the author has applied therefore making the novel have a great deal of symbolism. World War I is a symbol that reflects the experience and the change of life of the protagonist. The war educates and gives Amory the most suitable manner to get crucial values that every individual deserves to have. The protagonist of the novel Amory Blaine takes part in the World War I not willingly but because of some use of force. The author has applied symbolism where for Amory the war gives him a life knowledge which appears to be a turning point in his life. For instance, according to other people, the war symbolizes something painful, pitiless and even something that is cruel in all nations. The war brings several heartbreaks, many deaths to different families, shock and disaster to various nations. The war symbolizes how the main character of the story is forced to take part in the World War I.

In the story, alcohol symbolizes a major role to Amory and friends. Alcohol seems to symbolize both self-destruction and interruption. This tends to symbolize murder which ais narrated in a way that the influence of alcohol destroys the fate of human beings in a wholly manner. Dick Humbrid who is Amory’s friend gets involved in a car accident and later on gets killed in a car accident after a night of drinking. After the incident Amory’s friends continue with the trend of getting in trouble by staying out late at night, drinking alcohol in bars and clubs. Amory seems to be under the influence of alcohol, which is a broadly discussed problem. Rosalind decides to breakup with Amory which gives him the affirmation that its okay to drink to get away from his sadness and depression. Amory turns to alcohol and starts drinking so heavily , it gets so bad that it went to the extent where he blacks out and gets beaten up. However, Amory grows out of depression. Alcohol symbolizes the fuel to self-destruction in the novel which can lead to someones doom. For example, drinking alcohol is the freedom women and young men look forward to trying to get away from there true realities.

The slicker refers to an individual who has an extreme sense in social values, knows how to dress appropriately and is able to shine in different activities hence successful in a broad manner. After reviewing book one in the first chapter, Amory and his best friend at school decided to come up with the aspect of slicker and also something related to the big man (Shain). The big man encompasses something that is superficial but again stupid which ends up with a future that is full of problems. Big man makes the author feel lost without his circle but again narrates how his school days were always impressing. For much of Amory’s adolescence stage, being a slicker seems to be his main goal in life it is one of his essential goals that he keeps in mind the entire time. During his days in college, the protagonist revises the definition of slicker which implies that Amory has some characterization of the slicker since he tends to add some courage, brains and even talents for fun, despite the fact that he has some of the characterization of the slicker he fails to become a successful person in the world. Amory believes that there are two identities that he has to choose from and that is either becoming a winner or losing everything. For instance, the slicker symbolizes both Amory’s passionate desire in becoming a successful person and his capability of impressing other people and also the perspective for becoming one.

New York City seems to have a great deal of symbolism. It symbolizes everything  to do with a cosmopolitan, business, success and an adulthood vibe. It is in New York City where he attended his university while he and his friends spent a great deal of time drinking and also cavorting. After a while, Amory decides to move in with a new friend named Thomas who makes him have a realization of what a successful life is. It is also in the city where Amory decides to fall in love with Rosalind, gets employed and develops plans of marrying Rosalind Connage. Unfortunately, Amory’s time in New York City gets marked by a heartbreak from Rosalind, losses his only job and the death of his friend Darcy. Such events darken his life in the city making him to spend a lot of money which leaves him remaining penniless and alone. The city acts as a crucial place where Amory undergoes a tough transformation. All the experiences that he undergoes in New York City makes him reflect his place in life. He is not sure who he is and more importantly does not know what to make out of his belief regarding the world.

The most effective motif of the story would be having self-recognition. Self-realization is presented by the author containing the symbolism of an instruction to readers (Fitzgerald).  Making a self-realization about yourself is not something that is simple but the main protagonist of the story proves that this is possible. Several events that take place in his life while at New York City makes Amory change his self-knowledge where he begins to understand that family and love are two aspects that can never amount to money. For instance, the author symbolizes that we ought to live in peace and harmony among each other.

Literature realism is an aspect that originated from France and later moved to America due to the response during the romantic which was a period when settings, plots and characters were idealized in a certain manner. However, in most of Fitzgerald’s work the realistic elements are usually obvious. Realism also plays into the meaning and an understanding of the novel where there is a realistic manner which is in form of an effort that 19th century writers had. The author of the novel presents life’s problems while giving a comprehensive image regarding the modern life in a picture. Fitzgerald attempts to indicate to his readers’ different techniques, classes and stratification of the meaning of life in the New York City. Therefore, the author has emphasized the aspect of realism by bringing together several details from observation and also documentation so that the readers can be able to determine his norm of experience (Keshmiri, and Mahdikhani). Along with the comparison of different approaches, the author has compared an appropriate existence in the United States to the truth of the universe and more importantly life. For instance, realistic elements are portrayed in the novel therefore generating the true meaning of the novel.

Most of the author’s description regarding setting happen to be in a similar meditative tone, the reason is because the description comes along with the main character having deep thoughts regarding his love life, success and his living. Therefore, this makes a change in the development of setting which influences the development of the plot. There is a symbolic significance of the locations of New York City and Princeton. The two locations have not changed much since the day the novel was written since Princeton is still a big school that is has always been a top ranked university nationwide. New York City also perseveres itself as an infamous city. No matter the number of readers who have read Fitzgerald’s novel, the author describes the setting of the story using a similar poetic language and the main reason as to why the author is using the poetic language that is similar is due to making the developed plot straightforward. The main character of the story only notices the world that is surrounding him especially when he is thinking about life being measured in a deeper thought. The effect of the change in setting in the development of the plot happens when the story is first began from New York City where the main protagonist of the story is a child and later on the story proceeds in Princeton (Fitzgerald). The development of the plot is quite contradicting where the novel begins at Princeton University while Amory attends college and later on in the novel, the author portrays how Amory takes several trips to the city of Atlantic hence displaying his attachment as a reminder of how he traveled during the period when he was younger.

Amory seems to be fascinated with love to an extent where it can be related to the relationship that he had back then with his mom. Beatrice is beautiful and unpredictable who keeps the main character close for some time and sending him sometimes to live with relatives. However, it is through love that Amory gets to learn how fleeting and passionate love seems to be and this runs throughout the romantic experience of his life. For instance, Amory tries to find all means to make life better. He comes to the fact that he was not aware that love could turn out to be shown and given in many different ways.

Drinking alcohol in clubs is one of the major roles in Amory and his friend’s lives. Alcohol as a theme in the novel symbolizes self-destruction and interruption. Rosalind breaks the engagement off with Amory which makes him become a serious and heavy drunker. Prohibition laws came out which ends up saving him from liver failure.

Amory’s relationship seems complicated because of money since he went from being a wealthy man to a penniless man. The family in which he is born was of wealth due to his  mother which provided him with a good education and an expensive boarding school and university. For instance, Amory finds it difficult to balance money and work hard. He ends up quitting his first job despite that fact that his inheritance is dwindling.

An aspect of self-acknowledge makes Amory try to understand both himself and the world. However, Amory always tried to avoid some true facts that were uncomfortable for him. Therefore, most parts of the novel narrates Amory’s influence of external features in the internal world and how both determinative friendship and heartbreak molded the kind of person he ends up to be. For instance, Amory recognizes his imperfections but still pushes away his knowledge so as to maintain a certain perception that builds his confidence and reassurance.

Fitzgerald identifies Amory as a romantic egotist who is obsessed with self-image and the impression that he portrays on others. Initially Amory had a perception that he would succeed in life despite the fact of how he was raised by the mother. However, his egotism makes him suffer because most of his energy is used to hide he is feels for other others.

The worst human feature according the novel is the perception of stupidity. It is ironic Amory’s mother seems to be a clever woman who belongs to a culture that is rich but she feels that she needs to use her education to show off to people that she is a woman who belongs “in the upper class category” (Tate). In this story, the society tends to portray a major role since readers are able to reflect on the inner development of the main characters. Society seems to have a big influence on personality’s being established. Its difficult to speak to these individuals because they see each other in judgmental manner, “seem to be barred of the uniformity color on their neckties and the roll of their coats” (Mizener). 

It is ironic that when Amory mentions the expression “young irony” the theme that he is referring to is Eleanor because the description of his previous relationship was a “ridiculous relationship fill of love” (Shain). For instance, Amory always remembered the relationship with being in love and always being pleased with smile on his face.

The main character of the story is Amory Blaine who is young, egotistic and tries to come to a self-realization with himself.  Amory is the son to Beatrice Blaine a woman who is full of charisma but regarded as an unstable woman. Eleanor Savage, a girl who dated Amory is described to be lively and a poetry lover. Clara Page, is a widowed woman that Amory gets in a relationship with but then realize they are far distant cousins and they cannot marry (Fitzgerald). The last of Amory’s relationships is Rosalind Connage who has characterized as being willful but ends up breaking Amorys heart.

In conclusion, Fitzgerald has narrated the story with a description of the setting using the language that is in a poetic manner. The novel is developed in a more sensational manner where the author has presented the reveal of the story in form of a modernist fiction hence challenging literature in a traditional manner. The novel contains a great deal of symbolism which clarifies intentions that are thematic to the readers. The symbols that the author has used are more relatable to readers which allows readers to understand the speaker’s mindset. The author’s use of symbolism contains an insight that encourages motivation to characters. However, in most of Fitzgerald’s works, the realistic elements are usually obvious. The aspect of realism begins with a portrayal of college life and creating a storyline with everyday life struggles. Most of the author’s description regarding setting happen to be in a similar meditative tone, the reason is because the description comes along with the main character having deep thoughts regarding his love life, success and his living. Therefore, this makes a change in the development of setting hence influencing the development of the plot. There is a symbolic significance of the locations of New York City and Princeton. Amory seems to be fascinated with love to an extent where it can be related to the relationship that he had back then with his mom Beatrice. Drinking alcohol in clubs is one of the major roles in Amory and his friend’s lives. Alcohol as a theme in the novel symbolizes self-destruction and interruption. Amory’s relationship seems complicated because he is a penniless man.  Amory becomes self-aware and now wants to understand himself more and the world around him.

Outline

  1. INTRODUCTION
  1. Description of the overall topic under investigation and the importance and use of symbolism in the paper.
  2. Identification of themes and trends used in the novel and a big picture of a literature review.
  1. BODY
  1. How the symbolism is applied into the meaning of the novel
  2. Description of symbols

World War I, Alcohol, the Slicker, New York City, Self-Realization, Family and Love

  1. Application of realism to an understanding of the novel
  2. The effect of the change of setting in the development of the plot
  3. Use of standard fiction elements in the novel
  1. Theme application to the novel: Love, Alcohol and drugs, lack of money, self-discovery and egotism.
  2. Use of irony in the novel: Human Bluntness, spoilt society and young irony
  3. Characterization use in the novel
  1. CONCLUSION

Works cited

  • “With College Men”. Movies2.Nytimes.Com, 1920, http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/00/12/24/specials/fitzgerald-paradise.html.
  • Fitzgerald, Scott. “This Side Of Paradise”. Fitzgerald.Narod.Ru, 2019, http://fitzgerald.narod.ru/critics-eng/shain-thisside.html.
  • Keshmiri, Fahimeh, and Mina Mahdikhani. “Realism In F. Scott. Fitzgerald’S This Side Of Paradise And The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald’S Unique Literary And Writing Style”. English Language And Literature Studies, vol 5, no. 2, 2015. Canadian Center Of Science And Education, doi:10.5539/ells.v5n2p78.
  • Kuehl, John. “Scott Fitzgerald’s Reading”. The Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol 22, no. 2, 1961, p. 58. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/26409872. Accessed 9 June 2019.
  • Millgate, Michael. “Scott Fitzgerald As Social Novelist: Statement And Technique In “This Side Of Paradise””. The Modern Language Review, vol 57, no. 3, 1962, p. 335. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/3721823. Accessed 9 June 2019.
  • Mizener, Arthur. The Far Side Of Paradise.. 1st ed., Print Press, 1949.
  • Shain, Charles. “This Side Of Paradise”. Fitzgerald.Narod.Ru, 2019, http://fitzgerald.narod.ru/critics-eng/shain-thisside.html.
  • Tate, Mary Jo. Critical Companion To F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Reference To His Life. 2nd ed., Facts On File, 2008, pp. 156-168.
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