F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 23, 1896. Early on, he showed great promise as a writer. At the age of twelve, he even began writing for a school newspaper. This participation in literary magazines continued when he attended Princeton University. Fitzgerald, though a very intelligent young man, flunked out of Princeton due to his inclination away from studies and toward writing. Soon after, he joined the army, which led him to be stationed near a young southern belle named Zelda Sayre. Scott fell madly in love with her, and courted her. She refused to marry him. Zelda changed her mind, however, in 1920, when Fitzgerald published his first novel, This Side of Paradise. Sayre married this newborn celebrity.

Did you know? Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was named after a distant relative: the author of the National Anthem. Perhaps this is a very fitting name, because Fitzgerald is considered one of the most purely American writers of the twentieth century.

Once Scott and Zelda had their daughter, Frances, they moved to France in order for Fitzgerald to work on his next novel, The Great Gatsby. Though this book did not sell well at its publication, the theater and movie rights sold for a good amount of money. Today, The Great Gatsby is considered to be a fiercely well-written and amazingly influential novel. Throughout this, and later novels, Fitzgerald explored the main American theme: uncontainable ambition. He wrote of new money, old money, disgusting aspects of the rich, appealing aspects of the rich, and love. Many of his novels mirrored his life. He wrote of his and his wife's exciting and wild lifestyle, which included lavish parties and wasted money. Even his marriage was shown in his novel, Tender Is The Night. It is the story of an American psychiatrist who was married to a mental patient. Indeed, his Zelda's strange behavior had turned from eccentric to insane. She never recovered from her second mental breakdown, and lived in hospitals (or was an outpatient) until her death. After the 1920s were over, Fitzgerald fell into a world of illness, alcoholism, depression, and debt. Eventually, he moved to Hollywood where he met a columnist named Sheilah Graham. They fell in love, and Fitzgerald began to stay with her. He died of a heart attack in Graham's apartment in the December of 1940 (eight years before his wife). He faded from the literary world until about 1949, when he began to be considered as a singularly skilled writer. F. Scott Fitzgerald has continued to be an inspiration to many generations of readers. His novels represented the dreamers and their goals, their failures and successes, and the cultural metamorphosis that was the 1920s.



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