Fitzgerald writes The Great Gatsby as a mirror of his own life describing his life through such characters as Nick Carraway, the narrator and the Jay Gatsby the, protagonist which are representations of Fitzgerald’s life. Fitzgerald uses his own events to play key parts in this novel. Throughout The Great Gatsby characters and events are a written reflection of Fitzgerald life making The Great Gatsby an autobiography. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul Minnesota (A Brief Life of Fitzgerald).
Francis’ parents enrolled him at the Newman School in 1911 when he was 15 years old, Newman School was a prestigious Catholic prep school located in New Jersey (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). After graduating from Newman in 1913 Fitzgerald went to Princeton University. At Princeton he devoted himself to working hard on becoming a writer. With all of his focus on writing, he began to struggle in other classes. Around 1917 Fitzgerald was on academic probation and it was very unlikely for him that he would graduate so he thought it was best for him to join the Army.
Fitzgerald became a second lieutenant in the infantry (A Brief Life of Fitzgerald). Fitzgerald was so convinced that he would die in the war and scared that he had not accomplished his literary dreams in time, that he quickly wrote a novel called The Romantic Egotist. The novel was very well liked by the publishing company known as Charles Scribner’s Sons, but they asked him to revise it before sending it back to them(A Brief Life of Fitzgerald). Around June 1918 Fitzgerald was stationed at Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery Alabama (A Brief Life of Fitzgerald).
While he was stationed in Camp Sheridan, he met a girl named Zelda Sayre (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). Zelda was 18 years old and Fitzgerald eventually fell in love with her. And he would continue to pursue after her. Fitzgerald was never actually deployed into the war, because World War I ended in 1919. After being discharged from the army, Fitzgerald decided to move to New York City where he hoped to start a career in advertising hoping that Zelda would marry him for having a job (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). Although Fitzgerald wanted Zelda, he quit his job and decided to return to St.
Paul to rewrite his novel. Fitzgerald really hit a breakthrough when his novel, This Side of Paradise was published in 1920 (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). After finally having success from his novel, Zelda finally agreed to marry Fitzgerald only after a week of the book being published. Zelda and Fitzgerald married in New York. The couple had one child, a daughter named Francis Scott Fitzgerald, who was born in 1921 (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). Fitzgerald quickly became famous and wealthy from his writings as he began to write more novels and short stories as the year passed.
Fitzgerald became a so called, “playboy” (F. Scott Fitzgerald Bio). Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby and it was published in 1924. The novel was closely based off most of Fitzgerald’s own life. Using his own experiences Fitzgerald was able to write his greatest novel ever. Fitzgerald shows himself throughout the book through mostly two characters; Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby. Both characters had some aspect to Fitzgerald’s life. For instance Jay Gatsby and Fitzgerald both had a lover whom they wanted to marry so badly. Nick is the vision of what Gatsby saw of the “roaring twenties”.
Jay Gatsby represented Fitzgerald’s personality as a lavish partier when Fitzgerald first became wealthy. Gatsby threw great parties that everyone wanted to go to. Fitzgerald became rich just like everyone wants to be. It was not just the partying that is seen as Fitzgerald, but Fitzgerald seems to describe his own young life through Gatsby as if he was writing an autobiography. Fitzgerald went to Princeton only for a while just as Gatsby went to St. Olaf’s College only to leave the school just as Fitzgerald left Princeton.
Gatsby was blinded by Daisy’s beauty just as Fitzgerald was to Zelda. Both were determined to have their women. It seemed though Fitzgerald could not accept rejection or a loss, an example in Fitzgerald’s life was that Zelda broke their engagement, because Fitzgerald was not making enough money (A Brief Life of Fitzgerald). Fitzgerald drove himself to win Zelda. Fitzgerald put his emotions into Gatsby by trying to say he would do whatever it would take to have Zelda. Gatsby got all his money from illegal activities, because he was willing to do whatever it took to have Daisy.
Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was blinded by the beauty of one women that having Zelda, as Gatsby having Daisy, was all he wanted. Gatsby represented the partying celebrity. Nick Carraway represents the other side of Fitzgeral,d as he represents the quietness the better minded version of Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald and Nick Carraway were able to see that all this materialism and partying in the “Roaring Twenties” were morally decaying, yet they were both fascinated by the lifestyle. Nick represented Fitzgerald’s true feelings of the era where life was fun and flashy, but morally wrong to him.
Nick Carraway at the end of the novel decided to move back to the Midwest to escape the craziness and hyped life happening on the east coast even though he was curious about it. (Fitzgerald 176). Fitzgerald puts his true feelings into Nick. Even though the fast rich life seemed fun and exciting it was morally decaying and he misses living normally. Fitzgerald showed many signs of an autobiography, in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald showed himself as idealized version of himself in Gatsby, doing whatever he could to have Daisy and never once thinking his plans would not work.
Nick Carraway was Fitzgerald’s old self stuck in a place full of drama and morally decaying events that everyone in the party life thought as ok, because they thought they were better than everyone else. Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, shows readers that his life was put into two characters; Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway, to show the views of that era. . Works Cited “A Brief Life of Fitzgerald”. University of South Carolina. Web. 24 April 2012. “F. Scott Fitzgerald biography”. A+E Televison Network. Web. 24 April 2012 Fitzgerald, Francis S. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 2004. Print.
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