Great Gatsby 10 Essay

1486 words - 6 pages

In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald tells of the death of the "American Dream." Nick Carraway, a young, seemingly pure man from the west, decides to journey to New York to make his money on the stocks and bonds market. In New York, he is met with a story of love, lust, adultery and murder. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel telling of the death American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its illusionary goals. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896, the namesake and second cousin three times removed of the author of the National Anthem. His father, Edward, was from Maryland and exhibited an undying allegiance to the Old South and its values. Fitzgerald's mother, Mary (Mollie) McQuillan, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant who made his fortune as a wholesale grocer in St. Paul.Edward Fitzgerald failed as a manufacturer of wicker furniture in St. Paul, and he became a salesman for Procter & Gamble in upstate New York. After he was dismissed in 1908, when his son was twelve, the family returned to St. Paul and lived comfortably on Mollie Fitzgerald's inheritance. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy; his first writing to appear in print was a detective story in the school newspaper when he was thirteen.From St. Paul Academy Fitzgerald went on to a higher education at Princeton University. At Princeton, Fitzgerald neglected his studies for his literary apprenticeship. He wrote the scripts and lyrics for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals and was a contributor to the Princeton Tiger humor magazine and the Nassau Literary Magazine. On academic probation and unlikely to graduate, Fitzgerald joined the army in 1917. During this time he wrote the novel The Romantic Egotist.After his discharge in 1919, he went to New York City to seek his fortune in order to marry. Unwilling to wait while Fitzgerald succeeded in the advertisement business and unwilling to live on his small salary, his fiancee, Zelda, broke their engagement. Fitzgerald quit his job in July 1919 and returned to St. Paul to write his novel This Side of Paradise. The publication of This Side of Paradise on March 26, 1920, made the twenty-four-year-old Fitzgerald famous almost overnight, and a week later he married Zelda in New York.Literary critics were reluctant to accord Fitzgerald full marks as a serious craftsman. His reputation as a drinker inspired the opinion that he was an irresponsible writer; yet he was a painstaking reviser whose fiction went through layers of drafts. The Fitzgeralds spent the winter of 1924-1925 in Rome, where he revised The Great Gatsby; they were en route to Paris when the novel was published in April.The Great Gatsby marked what was noted critically as a striking advance in Fitzgerald's technique, utilizing a complex structure and a controlled narrative point of view. Fitzgerald's achievement received critical praise, but sales of The Great Gatsby...

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