Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important
American writers of his time. He wrote about the troubling time period in which
he lived known as the Jazz Age. During this era people were either rich or
dreamt of great wealth. Fitzgerald fell into the trap of wanting to be wealthy,
and suffered great personal anguish because of these driving forces. I have
chosen to write a term paper on F.Scott Fitzgerald. The goal of this
presentation is to show F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life through his defeats and
triumphs and how these situations affected his life as a writer.
Fitzgerald’s life started in the Midwestern part of the United States.
On September 24, 1896, he was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. F. Scott
Fitzgerald was of Irish heritage on both sides and was distantly related to
Francis Scott Key, for whom he is named, and to Maryland aristocracy. His
parents, Edward Fitzgerald of the Glen Mary Farm near Rockville, Maryland and
Mary McQuillan of St. Paul wed February 13, 1890 in Washington, D.C. Fitzgerald’
s maternal grandfather was a very successful wholesale merchant. His
grandfather’s early death and his father’s inability to keep a job, forced the
family to be extremely dependent on the wealth of his grandfather’s estate.
Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy as a child. In 1911 he entered the
Newman School in Hackensack, NJ. Growing up with a father who was out of work
and who relied on his wife’s inheritance gave Fitzgerald a mixed feeling of
guilt and shame and yet he felt love for both his parents. These inner
conflicts in his early life could have contributed to his inability to manage
his finances, along with his constant obsession of gaining extreme wealth.
Fitzgerald later went to Princeton University, where writing and
football were his main interests. It was there that he met friends Edmund
Wilson and John Peale Bishop. Fitzgerald was too small to play football so he
joined a fraternity called the triangle club, the second most prestigious cliche
on campus, football being first. After Princeton, Fitzgerald was quoted as
saying to a friend “I want to be the greatest writer who ever lived don’t you
(Bruccoli, 1981).” In 1917, Fitzgerald joined the army and prepared to fight in
World War I. It was soon after his mobilization that he sold his fir…
… ceaselessly into the past” (Grolier
Encyclopedia, 1993). Showing his failed attempts to reach back into the past
made him into someone who felt he had no control upon his destiny, because it
could never be as successful as his past. He did know that his work would have
a permanent claim upon the American Literary World.
Fitzgerald’s life mirrored his novels. His live was filled love and
tragedy. He pursued his dreams, and in real life, often lived those dreams. He
longed to capture his youth and its purity. He produced thousands of short
stories, often times to support their frivolous lifestyles as well as to tell
their stories. Many scholars have critiqued his work and their desire to
interpret Fitzgerald’s work line the shelves of libraries. The Great Gatsby is
a Great American Classic in which hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each
year to high school and college students every where. Much of his work has been
translated into 35 languages. It’s ironic that more of Fitzgerald’s books are
sold every year than were sold during his lifetime. Sometimes it takes more
than a lifetime to reach your goals and Fitzgerald found a way to accomplish his
goals without living forever.