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F. Scott Fitzgerald

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❶His book was finally published in as Tender Is the Night. They resumed their engagement and were married at St.

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He described his own "crack-up" in an essay that he wrote in , hopelessly in debt, unable to write, nearly estranged from his wife and daughter, and incapacitated by excessive drinking and poor physical health. Things were looking up for Fitzgerald near the end of his life - he won a contract in to write for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood and fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a movie columnist.

He had started writing again - scripts, short-stories, and the first draft of a new novel about Hollywood - when he suffered a heart attack and died in at the age of 44, a failure in his own mind.

Most commonly recognized only as an extravagant drunk, who epitomized the excesses of the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald's work did not earn the credibility and recognition it holds today until years after his death. This quote perfectly illustrates Zelda Fitzgerald's lifelong struggle to create her own artistic identity. Born in in Montgomery, Alabama, she entered a world that was just starting to consider the possibility that women might have the right to be independent citizens capable of making their own decisions.

The youngest of six children, her parents raised Zelda as a free-spirited, imaginative and thoroughly spoiled little girl. By the age of eighteen, when she met F.

Scott Fitzgerald at one of the many parties she attended, she embodied the quintessential southern belle. A constant stream of passionate and argumentative love letters punctuated the period of their engagement while Scott worked in Manhattan and Zelda remained at her parents' home in Montgomery.

For Zelda, marriage represented a new lease on life, the only way out of her small-town existence as someone's daughter, without any rights of her own. For a year, Scott struggled unsuccessfully to make his fortune in the advertising business, but Zelda grew tired of waiting. When he professed that he could not be successful without her by his side and proposed, she broke the engagement because she felt too much pressure. She insisted that he find success first on his own. His first novel made Scott rich within the year, and Zelda married him a week after its publication.

As his wife, she embarked on a new life as a flapper - a freethinking woman with the world at her disposal. She was a huge influence on his writing, providing much of the material for his novels and short stories throughout their engagement and marriage. Scott frequently quoted her and her letters directly, using her words as the voice for several of his female characters. Zelda bore her first and only child at 21, naming Scottie after her husband.

By , Zelda's influence on Scott's writing had become less positive. An affair with a French naval aviator strained their marriage, so Zelda sought fulfillment in other venues. In , she decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a professional ballerina, and began taking lessons in Paris from a famous dancer. At the late age of 27, three years of intense ballet work eight hours a day damaged her health, and prompted her first mental breakdown, diagnosed as "nervous exhaustion", in Zelda was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, and would reside in and out of hospitals for the rest of her life.

During her stay at Johns Hopkins hospital in , she wrote her first and only novel: Writing was not Zelda's only form of artistic expression - she was also a painter. She painted brilliantly colored whimsical, sometimes fantastical works of art. Her granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan, describes Zelda's paintings as "theatrical.

They're like on a raised stage floor, and the characters are actors who are before you, waiting to perform. The Bible and Zelda's strong religious beliefs inspired another series of illustrations.

He then returned to the base near Montgomery, and by December they were inseparable. Scott would later describe their behavior as "sexual recklessness. They wrote frequently, and by March , Scott had sent Zelda his mother's ring, and the two had become engaged. By September, Scott had completed his first novel, This Side of Paradise , and the manuscript was quickly accepted for publication.

When he heard the novel had been accepted, Scott wrote to his editor Maxwell Perkins , urging an accelerated release: Zelda agreed to marry him once the book was published; [23] he, in turn, promised to bring her to New York with "all the iridescence of the beginning of the world. Patrick's Cathedral , they married.

Scott saw the novel's publication as the way to Zelda's heart. Scott and Zelda quickly became celebrities of New York, as much for their wild behavior as for the success of This Side of Paradise. They were ordered to leave both the Biltmore Hotel and the Commodore Hotel for their drunkenness.

When Dorothy Parker first met them, Zelda and Scott were sitting atop a taxi. Parker said, "They did both look as though they had just stepped out of the sun; their youth was striking. Everyone wanted to meet him. Publicly, this meant little more than napping when they arrived at parties, but privately it increasingly led to bitter fights. On Valentine's Day in , while Scott was working to finish his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned , Zelda discovered she was pregnant.

They decided to go to Scott's home in St. Paul, Minnesota to have the baby. Isn't she smart—she has the hiccups. I hope it's beautiful and a fool—a beautiful little fool. Zelda never became particularly domestic, nor showed any interest in housekeeping. Then ask if there are any eggs, and if so try and persuade the cook to poach two of them. It is better not to attempt toast, as it burns very easily. Also, in the case of bacon, do not turn the fire too high, or you will have to get out of the house for a week.

Serve preferably on china plates, though gold or wood will do if handy. In early , Zelda again became pregnant. Although some writers have said that Scott's diaries include an entry referring to "Zelda and her abortionist", there is, in fact, no such entry.

Zelda's thoughts on the second pregnancy are unknown, but in the first draft of The Beautiful and Damned , the novel Scott was completing, he wrote a scene in which the main female character Gloria believes she is pregnant and Anthony suggests she "talk to some woman and find out what's best to be done. Most of them fix it some way. As The Beautiful and Damned neared publication, Burton Rascoe , the freshly appointed literary editor of the New York Tribune , approached Zelda for an opportunity to entice readers with a cheeky review of Scott's latest work.

In her review, she made joking reference to the use of her diaries in Scott's work, but the lifted material became a genuine source of resentment: To begin with, every one must buy this book for the following aesthetic reasons: It seems to me that on one page I recognized a portion of an old diary of mine which mysteriously disappeared shortly after my marriage, and, also, scraps of letters which, though considerably edited, sound to me vaguely familiar.

Fitzgerald—I believe that is how he spells his name—seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home. The piece led to Zelda receiving offers from other magazines. Though ostensibly a piece about the decline of the flapper lifestyle, Zelda's biographer Nancy Milford wrote that the essay was "a defense of her own code of existence.

The Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure Mothers disapproved of their sons taking the Flapper to dances, to teas, to swim and most of all to heart. Zelda continued writing, selling several short stories and articles. She helped Scott write the play The Vegetable, but when it flopped the Fitzgeralds found themselves in debt.

Scott wrote short stories furiously to pay the bills, but became burned out and depressed. After arriving in Paris, they soon relocated to Antibes [44] on the French Riviera. After six weeks, Zelda asked for a divorce. Scott at first demanded to confront Jozan, but instead dealt with Zelda's demand by locking her in their house, until she abandoned her request for divorce.

Jozan did not know she'd asked for a divorce. He left the Riviera later that year, and the Fitzgeralds never saw him again. Later in life he told Zelda's biographer Milford that any infidelity was imaginary: He writes of lost illusions in The Great Gatsby as his lost certainty in Zelda's fidelity. The book reflected the dramatized pivotal aspects of his and Zelda's love, of courtship, break, restoration with financial success, and the Jozan betrayal: After the fight, the Fitzgeralds kept up appearances with their friends, seeming happy.

In September, Zelda overdosed on sleeping pills. The couple never spoke of the incident, and refused to discuss whether or not it was a suicide attempt. Scott returned to writing, finishing The Great Gatsby in October. They attempted to celebrate with travel to Rome and Capri , but both were unhappy and unhealthy.

When he received the proofs from his novel he fretted over the title: It was Zelda who preferred The Great Gatsby. Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald became firm friends, but Zelda and Hemingway disliked each other from their very first meeting, and she openly described him as "bogus," [51] "that fairy with hair on his chest" and "phoney as a rubber check. In an embellishment, the Fitzgeralds told the Hemingways that the affair ended when Jozan committed suicide.

Gertrude Stein , Alice B. Toklas , Robert McAlmon and others. One of the most serious rifts occurred when Zelda told Scott that their sex life had declined because he was "a fairy" and was likely having a homosexual affair with Hemingway. There is no evidence that either was homosexual, but Scott nonetheless decided to have sex with a prostitute to prove his heterosexuality. Zelda found condoms that he had purchased before any encounter occurred, and a bitter fight ensued, resulting in lingering jealousy.

Literary critic Edmund Wilson , recalling a party at the Fitzgerald home in Edgemoor, Delaware , in February , described Zelda as follows:. I sat next to Zelda, who was at her iridescent best. Some of Scott's friends were irritated; others were enchanted, by her.

I was one of the ones who were charmed. She had the waywardness of a Southern belle and the lack of inhibitions of a child. She talked with so spontaneous a color and wit—almost exactly in the way she wrote—that I very soon ceased to be troubled by the fact that the conversation was in the nature of a 'free association' of ideas and one could never follow up anything. I have rarely known a woman who expressed herself so delightfully and so freshly: It evaporated easily, however, and I remember only one thing she said that night: Though Scott drew heavily upon his wife's intense personality in his writings, much of the conflict between them stemmed from the boredom and isolation Zelda experienced when Scott was writing.

She would often interrupt him when he was working, and the two grew increasingly miserable throughout the s. Scott had become severely alcoholic, Zelda's behavior became increasingly erratic, and neither made any progress on their creative endeavors. Zelda had a deep desire to develop a talent that was entirely her own, perhaps a reaction to Scott's fame and success as a writer.

She had been praised for her dancing skills as a child, and although the opinions of their friends vary as to her skill, it appears that she did have a fair degree of talent. But Scott was totally dismissive of his wife's desire to become a professional dancer, considering it a waste of time. She rekindled her studies too late in life to become a truly exceptional dancer, but she insisted on grueling daily practice up to eight hours a day [60] that contributed to her subsequent physical and mental exhaustion.

In April , Zelda was admitted to a sanatorium in France where, after months of observation and treatment and a consultation with one of Europe's leading psychiatrists, Doctor Eugen Bleuler , [64] she was diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

The clinic primarily treated gastrointestinal ailments , and because of her profound psychological problems she was moved to a psychiatric facility, in Prangins on the shores of Lake Geneva. She was released in September , and the Fitzgeralds returned to Montgomery, Alabama, where her father, Judge Sayre, was dying. Amid her family's bereavement, Scott announced that he was leaving for Hollywood. By February , she had returned to living in a psychiatric clinic. Over the course of her first six weeks at the clinic, she wrote an entire novel and sent it to Scott's publisher, Maxwell Perkins.

When Scott finally read Zelda's book, a week after she'd sent it to Perkins, he was furious. The book was a semi-autobiographical account of the Fitzgeralds' marriage. In letters, Scott berated her and fumed that the novel had drawn upon the autobiographical material that he planned to use in Tender Is the Night , which he'd been working on for years, and which would finally see publication in Scott forced Zelda to revise the novel, removing the parts that drew on shared material he wished to use.

Though the Great Depression had struck America, Scribner agreed to publish her book, and a printing of 3, copies was released on October 7, The parallels to the Fitzgeralds were obvious. The protagonist of the novel is Alabama Beggs like Zelda, the daughter of a Southern judge , who marries David Knight, an aspiring painter who abruptly becomes famous for his work. They live the fast life in Connecticut before departing to live in France.

Dissatisfied with her marriage, Alabama throws herself into ballet. Though told she has no chance, she perseveres and after three years becomes the lead dancer in an opera company. Alabama becomes ill from exhaustion, however, and the novel ends when they return to her family in the South, as her father is dying.

Thematically, the novel portrays Alabama's struggle and hence Zelda's as well to rise above being "a back-seat driver about life" and to earn respect for her own accomplishments—to establish herself independently of her husband. The language used in Save Me the Waltz is filled with verbal flourishes and complex metaphors. The novel is also deeply sensual; as literary scholar Jacqueline Tavernier-Courbin wrote in , "The sensuality arises from Alabama's awareness of the life surge within her, the consciousness of the body, the natural imagery through which not only emotions but simple facts are expressed, the overwhelming presence of the senses, in particular touch and smell, in every description.

In its time, the book was not well received by critics. It was the only novel she ever saw published. From the mids, Zelda spent the rest of her life in various stages of mental distress. Some of the paintings that she had created over the previous years, in and out of sanatoriums, were exhibited in As with the tepid reception of her book, Zelda was disappointed by the response to her art.

The New Yorker described them merely as "Paintings by the almost mythical Zelda Fitzgerald; with whatever emotional overtones or associations may remain from the so-called Jazz Age. Zelda now claims to be in direct contact with Christ, William the Conqueror, Mary Stuart, Apollo and all the stock paraphernalia of insane-asylum jokes For what she has really suffered, there is never a sober night that I do not pay a stark tribute of an hour to in the darkness. In an odd way, perhaps incredible to you, she was always my child it was not reciprocal as it often is in marriages I was her great reality, often the only liaison agent who could make the world tangible to her.

When their daughter Scottie was thrown out of her boarding school in , he blamed Zelda. Though Scottie was subsequently accepted by Vassar College , his resentment of Zelda was stronger than ever before.

Of Scott's mindset, Milford wrote, "The vehemence of his rancor toward Zelda was clear. It was she who had ruined him; she who had made him exhaust his talents He had been cheated of his dream by Zelda. After a drunken and violent fight with Graham in , Scott returned to Asheville. A group from Zelda's hospital had planned to go to Cuba , but Zelda had missed the trip. The Fitzgeralds decided to go on their own.

The trip was a disaster even by their standards: Scott was beaten up when he tried to stop a cockfight and returned to the United States so intoxicated and exhausted that he was hospitalized.

Scott returned to Hollywood and Graham; Zelda returned to the hospital. She nonetheless made progress in Asheville, and in March , four years after admittance, she was released. Scott was increasingly embittered by his own failures and his old friend Hemingway's continued success. They wrote each other frequently until Scott's death in December Zelda was unable to attend his funeral in Rockville , Maryland.

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Hold on to your hats, Shmoopsters, because once you ride the Fitzgerald train, there's no stopping. You'll be hurtling through this plot faster than you can say "T.J. Eckleburg." It seems to us that F. Scott Fitzgerald loves winding sentences that begin with one idea, person, or location and end up somewhere else entirely.

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Inspiration of Style Fitzgerald's writing style was inspired largely by Joseph Conrad and fellow American authors like Sherwood Anderson. Conclusion F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as one of the most brilliant writers of his time. The most obvious feature that he is known for is his wonderful writing style.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald utilizes many writing techniques to draw the reader in and create his own unique style. His novels include elaborate descriptions of characters and places, similes that create imagery, as well as repetition, various forms of literature, and allusions. Fitzgerald uses a lyrical writing style in The Great Gatsby. The story is told from the point-of-view of Nick Carraway, who develops a romantic perspective on his neighbor, the doomed lover Jay.

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After exploring this site we hope that the reader will have a better understanding of Fitzgerald's true life compared to his writing style, . Paul, Minnesota Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (more commonly known as F. Scott Fitzgerald) became widely known as one of the greatest American authors. Fitzgerald wrote both novels and short stories, mainly set in the Jazz age. Many influences to his writing came from his own personal life and the.