Childhood Influences Impact The Writing Of F. Scott Fitzgerald

1205 words - 5 pages

Childhood Influences Impact the Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald

On Wednesday February 12 of 1890 F. Scott Fitzgerald's parents were married in Washington D.C. Six years later on September 24, 1896 Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born at his home 481 Laurel Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota. His two infant older sisters had died from a violent influenza so that by the time Fitzgerald came along Mollie Fitzgerald had become the proverbial nightmare that known as an overprotective mother. Fitzgerald's mother was no traditional mother though, for she was known for her eccentricities. These eccentricities disturbed young Scott's life, "Fitzgerald later described his mother as 'half insane with pathological nervous worry'" (Bruccoli 15), but nothing worried anyone in the family so much as his father's failure to hold down a job. It was because his father lost his job as a wicker furniture manufacturer and salesman the family was forced to move from St. Paul to Buffalo in April of 1898, where his father began work for Proctor and Gamble. In January of 1901 the family moved from Buffalo to Syracuse where Edward had been transferred by his employer and where, on Sunday July 21, 1901 Scott's younger sister Annabel was born. Just two years later the family was back in Buffalo and just five years after that the family had returned to St. Paul and Grandma McQuillan's money.

Grandma, born Louisa McQuillan, was a widow. Her husband Phillip Francis McQuillan was a man of Irish ancestry who had been a successful business man and grocer and when he died at age 43 he left behind a good $500,000 dollars to the family. Because of their financial problems the Fitzgerald family was often reliant on family money to survive. The Fitzgerald's came back to Grandma for support as Edward failed at job after job. Of the McQuillan's five children two of the girls were unmarried and lived with their mother. Because of the proximity of the his mother's extended family Scott had an extra three mothers who lavished him with affection and estrogen growing up, but had no real male role-model. Regardless, after the final failure in New York, the family returned to St. Paul in July of 1908. Scott and Annabel lived with their grandmother while Edward and Mollie stayed with a friend until 1909 when the family finally reunited at 514 Holly Ave. (Bruccoli 23), the street where the family would live for the next five years. These five years are of note mostly because they made an impression on Scott and would later become a theme and setting for some of his short stories.

During this time Scott's education began. His mother, Mollie wished for him to associate with the "right" crowd and so he was enrolled in a dancing class for boys and girls at Ramaley Hall on Grand Avenue. It was in this dancing class that he met Marie Hersey. Marie was a good childhood friend who is even said to have helped Zelda re-wardrobe at Scott's request (he didn't like her southern...

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