Life and Writings of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald Essay

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was a writer very much of his own time. “As Malcolm Cowley once put it, he lived in a room full of clocks and calendars” (Donaldson). Fitzgerald was born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Scott spent most of his first decade in Buffalo and Syracuse, due to his father’s job. When Proctor and Gamble let Edward Fitzgerald go, he returned his family to Saint Paul, where he began consuming large amounts of alcohol, which later plays an immense role in Scott’s adult life. The hardships with the loss of three sisters, his relationship with Zelda Sayre, and his unique ability to synthesize both the world around him and the artistic drive within him is what influenced Scott to write the amazing stories, plays, and novels that have went down in American literature as some of the most remarkable pieces of literature to ever be wrote. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing was enormously inspired by the loss of his three sisters, his relationships with Zelda Sayre, and his ability to separate the world and his work. The first years of Scott’s life were colored by grief and loss. The Fitzgerald family was in deep mourning the afternoon that Scott was born, due to the loss of Mollie and Edward Fitzgerald’s two daughters that both died from an illness almost three months before Mollie gave birth to Scott. “Although his mother never spoke of the deaths of her first two children, Scott claimed he felt the effects” (Boon 13). Fitzgerald associated the tragedy of his sisters with his career as a writer. A little more than three years later, another sister was born into the family, but only lived one hour. The deaths of his sisters heavily affected his life as a child and an adult. Fitzgera…

…reflects a lot on recollections of his childhood and a young child’s longing for the material things in life, until he realizes over the years when he has became a successful and wealthy adult that the greatest value of dreams resides in hard work and striving, not in fulfillment. A majority of Fitzgerald’s writings mirror his relationship with Zelda Sayre. Zelda suffered several breakdowns in both her physical and mental health, and sought treatment in and out of clinics from 1930 until her death. “Zelda’s mental illness, the subject of Fitzgerald’s fourth novel, Tender is the Night, had a debilitating effect on Scott’s writing” (Palmisano). The extravagant living made possible by Fitzgerald’s success, however, took its toll. Constantly globe-trotting, the Fitzgeralds tried to vain to escape or at least seek respite from Zelda’s mental illness and Scott’s alcoholism.

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