F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night

Words: 1906
Pages: 8

“Either you think--or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night
As one of the greatest and most original writers of the early 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald left an impression on the world of literature. This impression has endured nearly one-hundred years since 1920, when he first professionally published stories describing an era which he titled “the Jazz Age” (“F. Scott Fitzgerald” 920). Most readers know him for his novels, such as This Side of Paradise or The Great Gatsby, yet few realize that some of his most notable and profitable works were his short stories, such as “Head and Shoulders” or “The Curious
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Scott) Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 24th, 1986, as the first child to Edward Fitzgerald and Mary McQuillan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s birth name had special familial significance since Edward Fitzgerald’s family history traced its lineage back to his home state of Maryland, and all the way back in time to the great-great-great-uncle of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Francis Scott Key, the lawyer who famously wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” (Irwin 1). Most interestingly, Fitzgerald’s paternal family from Maryland were southern sympathizers during The Civil War. His father even aiding southern spies across the Potomac when he was younger (Irwin 1). This story being amongst his father’s many Civil War-era endeavors he told Fitzgerald when he was a boy (Irwin 2); marking a potential beginning of Fitzgerald’s imaginative interest in studying The Civil …show more content…
Fitzgerald’s maternal grandfather, Phillip McQuillan, was an Irish immigrant who settled in Galena, Illinois, before moving to St. Paul and growing very wealthy through his successful grocery business (all of which his daughter later inherited) This is where Fitzgerald’s parents later married in 1890 (Irwin 1). Resulting in a stark contrast of family histories that combined within Fitzgerald’s pedigree, one side a wealthy northern first-generation American mother, and the other a rural southern father related to the author of “The Star Spangled Banner”. Allowing Fitzgerald to see within his own family the division between north and south, which Fitzgerald later noted in a letter to John O’Hara in 1933:
I am half black Irish and half old American stock with the usual exaggerated ancestral pretensions. The black Irish half of the family had the money and looked down upon the Maryland side of the family who had, and really had, that certain series of reticences and obligations the go under the poor old shattered word “breeding” (modern form “inhibitions”). So being born in that atmosphere… I developed a two-cylinder inferiority complex. (qtd. in Irwin