American Lit. 11
Fitzgerald’s life and its connection to The Great Gatsby
During the Jazz Age in 1925, The Great Gatsby was written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. It was a novel that served as a portrait of the frenzied post- WWI society. It was a novel noted for its remarkable way in which the author captured a cross section of American society. Reflecting mostly on the way Fitzgerald lived, the characters in Gatsby live in a time of corruption. Tom Buchanan’s infidelity, Nick Caraway’s fascination with the lifestyle of wealth, and Jay Gatsby’s idealism of riches are all a reflection of the lifestyle that the author, F. S. F. and his wife Zelda led in the ...view middle of the document...
the rising middle classes [took] leisure seriously because it represents a monumental theme: the diminution and eventual corruption of American idealism…" Like Fitzgerald, Nick was a thoughtful young man from Minnesota that moved to New York after the war and found the lifestyle of the North seductive and exciting. Nick was both mesmerized and repulsed by Gatsby’s extravagant life style “[that] represented everything for which [Nick] had an unaffected scorn…” (p 2) Nick felt that “if personality [was] an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about [Gatsby], some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life… it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as [Nick had] never found in any other person.” (p 2) This was similar to the way Fitzgerald claimed to feel about the Jazz Age that he himself would soon adopt.
Gatsby is one of the most significant characters in the novel. His romanticism of riches and getting what he wanted eventually lead him to his doom. Fitzgerald and Gatsby both met a “golden girl” while a lieutenant in the army. Daisy’s “voice [was] full of money” and Zelda who also came from a wealthy family would not marry them because Fitzgerald and Gatsby were both poor at the time (p 120). Gatsby and Fitzgerald came from lower class families and did not have any old...