Essay F. Scott Fitzerald

Submitted By vantoine
Words: 1586
Pages: 7

Brian Antoine R. Hartshorn English 101
A strong-minded and persevering man, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote many books, his most famous work being The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s only ambition in life was to be, “one of the greatest writers who ever lived.” Fitzgerald suffered through a lot of heartache and pain before he reached success. In this essay I will focus on the life and death of this great man. F. Scott Fitzgerald got his name from his second cousin three times removed on his father’s side, Francais Scott Key writer of The Star Spangled Banner (Elbe 19). Fitzgerald was born September 24, 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His mother was Mary McQuillain; she had made a small fortune as a wholesale grocer (Elbe 19). The wealth and respect of his mother’s family gave him a sense of value, he was very appreciative of the little money he had (Elbe 19). His mother was the bread winner of the family, while his father balanced out his incapability to support the family, even though he did try his best (Elbe 19). In a letter written to Fitzgerald, his father wrote, “I enclose $1.00; spend it liberally, generously, carefully, judiciously, sensibly. Get from it pleasure, wisdom, health and experience (Elbe 19).” Though Fitzgerald’s father couldn’t hold a steady job and wasn’t the man he should have been, he did instill a value that was not easily forgotten to his only child (Elbe 19). Fitzgerald’s sense of tragedy growing up may have developed out of his parents past (Elbe 19). His parents both came to marriage late, his mother being thirty and his father thirty seven. Their first two children died shortly after birth, before Fitzgerald was born (Elbe 19). By the time Fitzgerald reached his adolescent years his parents were both past their fifties (Elbe 19). Not until Fitzgerald mother passed did he began to understand the struggles she had gone through to make a home for him. He was rummaging through some of his mother’s small treasures she had saved when he stated; “ When I saw all this it turned me inside out realizing how unhappy her temperament made her and how she clung to the end to all things that would remind her of moments of snatched happiness (Elbe 20). ” This shows that even though things were tough for the Fitzgerald family, Mary McQuillain never gave up on herself or her family; a strong desirable trait that her only child Fitzgerald lived up too (Elbe 19). Despite the authority Fitzgerald’s mother had in the family. Fitzgerald’s deepest feelings were towards his father, he once referred to his mother’s family as, “straight potato-famine Irish (Elbe 20).” Fitzgerald’s father’s family ancestry could be traced back to the colonies and the revolution. This fascinated Fitzgerald (Elbe 20). In the moving and very touching manuscript Fitzgerald wrote about his father entitled, “The Death of My Father,” written in 1931, Fitzgerald said, “I loved my father- always deep in my subconscious I have referred judgments back to him, [to] what he would have thought or done (Elbe 20).” When Fitzgerald attended St. Paul Academy, he published his first story in 1909 in Now and Then, the school magazine (Elbe 21). In 1911, Fitzgerald was fifteen; he began a period of two years at Newman Academy, a Catholic boarding school in Hackensack, New Jersey. While present at this school Fitzgerald was given the opportunity to visit New York, the plays he saw there helped inspire and keep his literary ambitions (Elbe 21). Thoughts of girls and crushes filled his mind during his adolescent years. In 1915 Fitzgerald met and fell in love with Ginevra King (Elbe 21). He met her while vacationing in St. Paul in January; on the next to last day of Christmas vacation. They continued their passionate romance for some time (Elbe 22). Until ill health and poor grades forced Fitzgerald to withdraw from Princeton (Elbe 22). Fitzgerald had spent nine months at home before he could enter Princeton again; he referred to these months