Great Gatsby4 Paper

This essay has a total of 1611 words and 7 pages.


Great Gatsby4





From the time he wrote his first novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald was bound to be a classic
novelist, portraying his life from birth, through his youth, and through his older years
in mostly all of his novels, including his most popular novel, The Great Gatsby.
Fitzgerald’s life from youth to death found full expression in some 160 short stories
(Prigozy, 1). The elegiac note that characterizes his reminiscences of his early
childhood and struggling adolescence greatly affected his work (Prigozy, 1).

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1897 in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father,
Edward Fitzgerald was a distinguished lawyer, Fitzgerald’s mother, Mary McQuillan, was
left with the inheritance of a million-dollar grocery business after her parents’ death
(Philips, 1).

Fitzgerald was an intellectual, and he was a very dramatic child, but did poorly in school
and he was often known as an outcast (Philips, 1). He grew up experiencing the end of WW1
and the jazz age. He also got to experience the roaring twenties (Prigozy, 1). He moved
many times with his family in his young age. His family often moved to different
apartments in the same cities (Prigozy, 1). These, his teen years, had a great impact on
his life. “A sense of estrangement so characteristic of his formative years marks much of
his fiction, from the first short stories, written when he was thirteen, to his last
efforts in Hollywood” (Prigozy, 2). In 1911, at the age of fourteen, Fitzgerald was
enrolled into St. Paul academy. This would be where he published his first few short
stories in the school magazine. He later re-created his school years in the Basil Duke
Lee series, which showed what it was like to be an outsider and to be disliked, as
Fitzgerald was (Prigozy, 2). He was an average student, but managed to get into Princeton
in 1913, from which he never graduated (Philips, 1). His years at Princeton were the most
influential on his writings, mostly because of a man named John Peale Bishop. Bishop
introduced Fitzgerald to poetry, that especially of John Keats and Edmund Wilson, who
would become the “intellectual conscience” of Fitzgerald’s life (Prigozy, 3). Instead of
graduating, he enlisted into the Army at the end of WW1, which is when he met his wife
Zelda Sayre, whom he met in a boot camp during the war (Philips, 2). Zelda is the model
for most of the women in his stories and novels until the late 1930’s, for Fitzgerald
loved her more than anything. (Prigozy, 4). Many of his stories also are biographical
events that reflect the years from WW1 (Prigozy, 8).

As Fitzgerald grew older, he used more and more of his personal experiences to create a
plot for his stories. His books grew also, making them more and more successful. Many
things he had done in his life were of great influence. Fitzgerald was not a very athletic
person. He decided, instead, to participate in the theatre arts, which is where he
obtained many of his ideas for his first few short stories. These stories showed very
strong theatrical elements (Prigozy, 2). Fitzgerald’s appreciation of the theatre led him
to New York, which is where he moved with Zelda (Prigozy, 2). Fitzgerald also spent some
time in Hollywood, where he met yet another influential person, Lois Moran. Fitzgerald
later used Moran’s life to write and publish the book Jacob’s Ladder (Prigozy, 7).

Another very influential person entered Fitzgerald’s life during his years of
education. This very important person is Father Sigourney Fay, who was the director of a
school which Fitzgerald attended after his years at Princeton; Newman School. Fitzgerald
always tried to capture the beauty of Fay in many of his works (Prigozy, 3). Fitzgerald
loved the sophisticated person that Fay was, and created his characters to be the same
sophisticated person that Fay was (Prigozy, 3). Fay also introduced Fitzgerald to a new
world of Catholicism, which Fitzgerald also revealed in his books (Prigozy, 3).

“Of the many new writers that sprang into notice with the advent of the post-war period,
Fitzgerald remained the steadiest performer and the most entertaining” (Clark, 25). He
is in a line with some of the greatest masters of prose (Bewely, 125). He writes well,
and always has, because he writes naturally, and his sense of form has been perfected
(Clark, 25). Fitzgerald's novels revolve around his and his wife’s relationship, and
these stories appeared in many magazines (Prigozy, 1). Fitzgerald’s whole life was bound
up with his short stories. He wrote of what he knew and loved, which was the jazz age,
with much observation and humor. (Bewely, 137). His stories are recognizable by their
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