Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and His Work Essay

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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and His Work

By the time F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby in 1925, he had

already amassed an impressive literary resume. From his first commercial

publication of the short story, "Babes in the Woods" at age 23 to "The Sensible

Thing" at age 28, Fitzgerald published fourteen short stories, one play, two

collections of short stories, and two novels. His first novel, This Side of

Paradise, made Fitzgerald a celebrity. The second, "The Beautiful and the

Damned," was serialized in Metropolitan Magazine. Few American writers published

as many well-received short stories in the fiction market as Fitzgerald during

this time. After publication of
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Fitzgerald's maternal grandfather also represented high asperations.

He immigrated from Ireland during the pre-Civil War era and became a wealthy,

wholesale grocer in St. Paul.

Although situated economically in an upper middle class, Fitzgerald developed

bonds to upper class friends during his childhood, and aspired to experience the

kinds of opportunties they enjoyed. The quest to achieve seems to have dominated

Fitzgerald since early adolescence. Like many of his friends who attended prep

schools in the East, Fitzgerald attended a Catholic prep school in New Jersey

between1911-13 where he met Father Sigourney Fay. Fay encouraged his ambitions

for personal distinction and achievement. After the death of his maternal

grandmother, his family's sizeable inheritance allowed Fitzgerald to attend

Princeton University the following year. He reportedly remarked at this time to

his friend, Edmund Wilson, " I want to be the greatest writer who ever lived,

don't you"? (Connors 1)

During his senior year, Fitzgerald joined the Army, and thinking he would die in

the war, rapidly wrote a novel, "The Romantic Egotist." He later revised it as

"This Side of Paradise." After falling in love with a southern bell, Zelda

Sayre, the youngest daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court justice, he proposed

marriage. Zelda, similar to Daisy's
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