Comparing F. Scott Fitzgerald And Jane Austen

1637 words - 7 pages

Comparing F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Austen

Undisputedly, F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the world's great writers, with a unique style of writing recognisable to any learned reader. His use of similes and metaphors is distinguished, and the issues he presents to the reader and the way in which he conveys them are both effective and thought provoking. Fitzgerald makes many profound statements in his work, and his comments on society and values are subtle, yet unmistakable. Jane Austen too makes comments on society, however they are of different time periods and therefore have ideas distinct from each other. Undoubtedly Austen is a source of high culture also; on account of her characterisation, strong sense of satire, and contrast of ideals, Austen has certainly contributed to the society's remembrance of past worlds and elapsed social values.

One of the contributing factors to Fitzgerald's writing was the era in which his plots, and indeed his own life, were set. His first novel, 'This Side Of Paradise', was published in 1920, a time when the younger generations, who had fought in the first world war, turned to wild and extravagant living to overcome the shock of death. After this novel, Fitzgerald became a celebrity, and fell into a wild, reckless lifestyle of parties and decadence. Many of the events from this early stage of his life appear in "The Great Gatsby', which was published in 1925. It is the issues presented in this novel that illustrate the main context of his work- adultery, depression, social facades, death, crime, self-deception, infatuation, and of course, the American Dream.

Austen's works were written in a completely different timeframe where social attitudes towards women, marriage, status and class were collectively perceived in a manner greatly differential to that of the 'roaring twenties'. Jane Austen used to write behind a door that would sound when someone approached, as so to hide her manuscripts, and was not recognised as a female author in her own right until years after her death. Her pieces tend to take a moralistic approach, and in her work she makes quite obvious statements confronting the society in which she existed.

Fitzgerald also tends to include suggestions from his society- such as the moral emptiness and hypocrisy of the Jazz era- however many of his statements are ambiguous in meaning and only suggest at a moral message.

One of Fitzgerald's great qualities as a writer is his talent at merely hinting an outcome. In this manner his pieces appeal to a wide variety of readers, who each will interpret his intricate messages to their own liking. Whereas Austen makes her points clear, Fitzgerald leaves it mainly up to the reader to translate his meanings. The colourful language and powerful imagery that Fitzgerald employs further advances his distinctive technique; his use of the English vocabulary also adds to his unique approach to literature. His work...

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