Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
Similarities between Characters in the Story and Fitzgerald
Like the characters in his novel The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald live an extravagant life during the Jazz Age in which he partied hard, unaccustomed to his newfound wealth. Fitzgerald simply wrote about the things that so many American s had heard about but never been to; Parties on East Egg with free flowing alcohol, or bootlegging liquor. Fitzgerald s experiences would not had been the same if it wasn t for things that were going on in the 1920 s; Prohibition, and a rising stock market with no crash in site. Prohibition made it so people like Gatsby could become millionaires easily by bootlegging alcohol. Fitzgerald lived what he wrote.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1897 and was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Despite being an average student Fitzgerald got into Princeton. Fitzgerald was around the same age as most of the important characters in the novel. Nick Carraway was from Minnesota too and was educated at an Ivy League school (Yale). After having trouble at Princeton Fitzgerald enlisted in the army in 1917. Nick fought during World War I and Jay Gatsby had once been training to be an officer. Nick is honest and tends to delay his judgements. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known,” Nick said about himself.
While stationed in Alabama Fitzgerald meets a beautiful seventeen year-old named Zelda Sayre. Zelda holds off their wedding until Fitzgerald is wealthier. Gatsby meets Daisy while being an officer but he doesn t get to marry her, she told Gatsby to wait for her but she doesn t keep her word and marries Tom Buchanan. Like Nick, Gatsby moves to the East after World War I. The characters in the story cheat on their spouses often which makes me think Fitzgerald maybe did with Zelda. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says about Daisy.
Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald valued wealth and decadence more than anything else. They both throw lavish parties mainly to impress others (Daisy for Gatsby and Zelda for Fitzgerald). Like Fitzgerald, Nick was infatuated by the wealthy. Fitzgerald and Gatsby weren t simply pleased with the American dream they had to show how rich they were and make an impression on others. “And Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.”
The Jazz Age didn t span the whole decade, the stock market crashed in 1929 sending the new rich back to where they started, and prohibition was repealed. Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940 in Sheilah Graham s apartment. Sheilah Graham was a movie columnist that Fitzgerald had fallen in love with while working in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Fitzgerald died believing himself a failure and battling alcoholism. Zelda Fitzgerald perished in a fire in Highland Hospital in 1948 after drifting in and out of mental institutions.
Fitzgerald lived what he wrote. Fitzgerald influenced The Great Gatsby heavily. Each character in the story has a certain trait that Fitzgerald had. Fitzgerald was more qualified to write about the Jazz Age than anyone else. He grew up in Minnesota and was educated in the Ivy League, then moved to the East after being in the army like Nick. He fell in love with a girl while in training in the south like Tom, and his wife Zelda was like Daisy because she cherished money.