Portrayal Of Old Hollywood In The Last Tycoon

1710 words - 7 pages

Portrayal of old Hollywood in The Last TycoonThe main theme of the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald is life in the city. The last book that he wrote is The Last Tycoon, which he actually never completed because he died in the writing process. This novel accurately depicts the alluring lifestyle of Hollywood and the good and bad affects that it could have on a person. The tempting, fast-paced life of Hollywood could destroy people just as it destroyed Monroe Stahr and Mr. Brady in The Last Tycoon. People in Hollywood carefully watch and scrutinize their neighbors for their minor imperfections by making such accusations as, "you can't flunk out of Hollywood unless you are a dope or a drunk" (Bloom 162). Any kind of person can make it in Hollywood. No matter how cruel or unkind a person may be, they could still be successful in Hollywood. The Last Tycoon portrays old Hollywood in the mid-nineteen forties through the character portrayals, the loving relationships between characters, and the hate shared between characters.Stahr is the protagonist of the story. A movie producer at the age of thirty-five, people call him the boy wonder. He leads a very fast-paced life that causes his existing heart problem to escalate. As the novel states, "Stahr is a tycoon, a great Prince, because he is not just a tycoon in Time magazine's sense but the image of genuine authority in a democratic society" (Mizener 66). Throughout the story, Stahr and his partner at the studio, Brady, do not always see eye to eye. Consequently, this causes a lot of problems and confrontations between these two men. At one point in the novel, Stahr finds out that Brady is plotting to have him killed. In fear for his life, Stahr decides to hire people to kill Pat Brady. Stahr decides to go to New York so he will not be present in the city when Brady is murdered. On his way to New York, Stahr changes his mind about the murder and decides that he will call it off as soon as he lands. Tragically, however, his plane crashes, Stahr dies, and he is never able to call off the murder. Brady and Stahr disastrously become victims of Hollywood through their own dishonesty and deception.Simply stated, Stahr represents the 'old Hollywood' where people should be value more than the profit of the big companies. His actions and language is consistently classy and suave, impressing those around him. Stahr's death symbolizes the death of old Hollywood in that he grew up fast and soon had adult responsibilities....Stahr, whose successes are personal achievements and whose career has always been invested with a certain personal glamour. He has held himself directly responsible to everyone with whom he as worked; he has even wanted to beat up his enemies himself. In Hollywood he is 'the last tycoon'. (Fitzgerald 131)George Boxley, one of Stahr's writers, characterizes him by saying "...Stahr like Lincoln was a leader carrying on a long war on many fronts... Stahr was an artist only, as Mr. Lincoln was a general,...

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