LIT1000 M/W Noon
F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Legend Large parties filled with dancing sounds from instruments that were just becoming popular; ladies dressed in a newer style than what was ever seen before and showed a more intimate look that made the men want to dance. Flashy materialistic items were purchased and Hollywood was born. Social get-togethers and traditions were crushed by the Great War and a newer society was developed. During this period, also known as the “Lost Generation”, young writers became known and their literary work made an enormous impact, not only in the 1920s, but today. One of these writers includes, Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was a bright, passionate author, which became an example of both sides of the American dream down the road. Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in the peaceful area of St. Paul, Minnesota on September 24, 1896. Fitzgerald’s mother, Mollie McQuillan, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant that was a very profitable wholesaler while his father, Edward Fitzgerald, was a failed businessman that made the family move several times, including to New York, but finally settled back in Minnesota ("F. Scott Fitzgerald."). Fitzgerald was known as an attractive, intelligent man, who focused more on his writing in school than the actual material being taught. In the fall of 1913, he attended Princeton University where he began to expand his literary life. After writing for the Princeton Tiger and the Nassau Literary Magazine, he hit a down fall in his education. He was put on academic probation, and after realization that his chances at graduating were slim, he decided to join the army in 1917 (“F. Scott Fitzgerald.”).
Fitzgerald became the second lieutenant in the infantry and saw many disturbing incidents that were happening in Europe. With these images in mind, Fitzgerald feared that his life may come to an end quicker than expected. In this time, he wrote the autographical novel The Romantic Egoist, which was later rejected. After much revision, however, Fitzgerald’s novel was invited to be relooked at. Shortly after, he was shipped to Camp Sheridan in Alabama where he met a Supreme Court Judge’s daughter, Zelda Sayre (“F. Scott Fitzgerald.”). After never being deported, Fitzgerald moved to New York to help kick off his writing career, and to hopefully convince Zelda to marry him. Once he succeeded, he relocated back to St. Paul and began rewriting his novel.
The Side of Paradise was published in 1920, and became the original novel of Fitzgerald’s key works and caused him to face stardom. This novel was essentially Fitzgerald’s opinion of young adulthood. The Side of Paradise is about a Princeton undergraduate, Amory Blaine, who seeks for acknowledgment throughout his life. The story takes the reader through life events of Amory Blaine that wreck his dreams of someday being successful. Overall, this story was based on all aspects of what we know today as the American Dream (Baughman). According to Judith S. Baughman, who wrote many books about significant literary authors, Fitzgerald would mask his real life experiences in his novels. Throughout The Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald calls back to his times at prep school and at Princeton. He also disguises the “serious involvement with the loss of Rosalind Connage”, in which Fitzgerald was relating to Zelda and her “unwillingness to commit herself to him before he achieved success” (Baughman). Moreover, The Side of Paradise was just the beginning of Fitzgerald’s successful, well-known novels and with the population growing in college and universities, the novel was “the first of many popular Twenties college novels” (Bruccoli).
Shortly after Fitzgerald hit fame, he and Zelda spent the summer in Connecticut, where he started writing short stories to support their lives. Some of these “rank at the forefront of American short stories” (“F. Scott Fitzgerald.”). This includes “May Day”,