Fitzgerald Style Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Analysis of F. Scott Ftizgerald s style
F. Scott Fitzgerald possesses many significant aspects to his writing that should not be overlooked while attempting to imitate his style. The short story entitled May Day, which takes place after World War I, exemplifies Fitzgerald s mastery of distinct characterization. May Day expresses Fitzgerald s passion to make his novels and stories as realistic as possible. By going into the most minute detail possible, whether in a passage or dialogue amongst a few characters, he allows the reader to become an equal part of the story. Fitzgerald s use of dialogue, details, and variations in his sentence structure help the reader to become integrated into the story
Upon reading his short stories, the ability of Fitzgerald to surpass the border between story and real life by bringing so much detail in the already brilliant ideas becomes extremely evident. By detailing all of his characters physical traits as well as actions, the reader can better understand the sequence of the story and as well as the time period in which it occurs. Instead of straight passages, Fitzgerald likes to include a lot of dialogue, not only to keep the reader s attention, but also to elaborate on what was taking place throughout the story and give a more in-depth look into the lives of the characters in the story. The dialogues enabled the reader to feel as though you were a character in the story. Before a dialogue the narrator gives some background information indirectly to enable the reader to follow along with the interaction that is to take place between characters. Much of the detail he puts into the story act as a stage direction, similar to that of a play. For instance, in May Day before Fitzgerald goes into a dialogue amongst Edith, Henry, and Bartholomew, he writes a paragraph of background information saying, Then she was in a long, low room furnished with many desks and hung on all sides with file copies There were only two occupants (Fitzgerald 57). By doing so, it enables the reader to better visualize the events that are taking place.
Fitzgerald also likes to vary his sentence structure in order to keep an off pace style. It makes the story that much more illustrative rather than straight full sentences. In some instances he starts a paragraph by using full complete sentences and then finishes it up with short and choppy sentences. When he writes longer paragraphs, he generally makes the sentences longer, although not all the same length, to keep with his style of variation. The more compact the paragraph, the more compact the information within it would be. Even during the dialogues, Fitzgerald switches back and forth between long passages by one character with a short response by another. For instance, in this imitation in May Day, Gordon says, Edith Bradin? That who you mean?, and Dean responds, At s the one. Damn good looking. She s still sort of a pretty doll- you know what I mean: as if you touched her she d smear. (Fitzgerald 27). Fitzgerald writes this passage as if someone is just speaking their thoughts, not worrying about sentence structure or use of fragments. He tries not to bore the reader by reading equal length sentences over and over and therefore varies the lengths of them. The variety in his writing and visualization of his style enables the reader to immerse himself into a scene, allowing him to go into as much detail as he possibly could in order to illustrate the characters and make them life-like.
In many of his stories, he uses a particular simile that to accentuate the personality and physique of a certain character. An example of this is in the middle of The Ice Palace when a character, Sally Carrol, refers to people as being either canine or feline to describe how gentle or abrupt and masculine or feminine they might be. Another example of this is seen in May Day when the narrator repeatedly makes references to Dean, a main character s teeth. Whether it is how much of them are visible when he speaks or the conditions they are in, Fitzgerald does this to insinuate that the wealthier people at home during war have the money to take care of their teeth as opposed to the soldiers and less wealthy people who can t afford to keep good hygiene. Fitzgerald tries to devote enough time within the story to being very descriptive about the characters so that the reader can envision what they look like. He does this in the evocative dialogue when he writes, Damn good looking as if you d touch her she d smear (Fitzgerald 27). Edith Barlin, the character described, is made out to be the most beautiful girl; one that could potentially be cut out of a mold she was so perfect. Sometimes the vivid descriptions are necessary to get the point across to the reader as well as to help bring realism to the events.
Fitzgerald s various techniques help to evolve the characters in his stories. His use of dialogue gives the characters credibility and voice. By doing so, it draws the reader into the lives of the characters and gives the reader the ability to listen to them speak. The ability of Fitzgerald to be so descriptive lent a vision to the reader so as to make the characters life-like. The variations in sentence structure intrigue the reader and keep him interested in the events that are taking place. Beyond that, what made him so successful during a time of many writers in their prime was ability to make relations amongst the characters and to be so drawn into the character studies which he portrayed. His diverse use of sentence structure, detail, and dialogue creates a vivid picture in the minds of the readers.