Despite the tumultuous nature of his life experiences and a life filled with the unexpected, Francis Scott Fitzgerald rose above all to become one of the greatest ever authors ever in English literature due to his unique style and techniques that attracted people towards his writings and endeared them to him. He redefined and laid a foundation for a new writing style. Most of his writings had been a crucial reflection of his actual true-life encounters and experiences. He presented them with an allegorical quality that made them pleasing and accurate. His novels and stories often portrayed aspects of mental illnesses, marital problems, materialism, and alcoholism that are minor plots portrayed clearly. He often relayed his message through similes, rhetoric, diction, and also syntax. Fitzgerald’s ability to present and portray character traits while also using literacy devices effectively made his work unique. This study examines the style and literacy depiction of Fitzgerald and portrays doer the rest of his life and the narratives written by him.
The beloved nature of the work of Fitzgerald also originates from the high intellect that he portrayed in his works. He had once remarked that ” the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” (Antolin, 112). This effect was portrayed in his works, including The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, and also the unfinished novel The Last Tycoon. The double vision intellect perspective portrays itself in most of Fitzgerald’s work and makes it stand out. He had a way of enabling the reader to be emotionally attached in a sensual ecstasy yet still retain the ability to stand back and objectively criticize it on an intellectual level. Throughout his career and writings, Fitzgerald is also known to have expressed and grown this polarity increasing, developing it over subsequent books, and by the time of his last novel, there was a great difference between it and the first novel.
The major themes in the works of Fitzgerald portrayed quest for resolving conflicts or tensions where the ideas or character embodied in on the major character ( the protagonist) overshadowed the other characters and wins. This is seen throughout as in the side of Paradise, Amory Blaine is portrayed as a youthful hero with good looks and intelligence on a quest. In The Beautiful and Damned, Anthony Patch has blessed whit a beautiful wife, a multimillionaire grandfather, and is youthful. Lastly, in the Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby possesses power had attained new heights of wealth, and has good looks. Fitzgerald had a knack for portraying some specific traits in his works. These were “good looks, physical beauty, youthfulness, wealth and also romance” (Antolin, 114). These were all opposed to age, ugliness, lost potential, and also poverty. These conflicts play a significant role in the development of his plots and how his fictional narratives play out.
Fitzgerald’s writings also differed extensively in content and popularity. This is as evidenced from his writings in the novels to his articles in the Saturday Evening Post. This was way below his status as a writer and made him ashamed to write for. One of his downfalls was marked by his collection I’d Die for you portrays a fascinating narrative with multiple stabbings at the same story. It was written at a time when Fitzgerald was at his lowest times, near the end of his life with “his wife institutionalized and the flashy lifestyle he had, having caught up to his drying up pocket.” (Breitwieser, 363) The stories had differed from what he had been initially known for as they felt “hasty and flawed.” This was against the wants of the readers during the depression that wanted cheerful tales. The earlier tales he had written had been filled with satire that had clearly depicted his talent. His earliest story I.O.U had even been run on multiple platforms, including the New Yorker and even Yale University, and he paid quite handsomely for it.
Fitzgerald’s later years were in shambles, and his writing lost the standard he had initially raised himself to. Also, many of his fictional tales featured strong young, and resourced female characters that were a rising popular figure in the 20th century. This included nurses who played subservient roles as flirtatious women who were in pursuit of eligible men. As seen in his “Offside play.” “Fitzgerald captures a young woman who is attracted to a young football star at Yale after being let down by her fiancée.” (Breitwieser, 370) Despite the hugely entertaining storyline and appeal to audiences, it was not the standard that appealed to the Saturday Evening Post. Many of his others stories and narratives would depict narrations marred with painful endings. Consequently, his journey to Hollywood too did not materialize as his attempts to incorporate action-packed scenes into his style only backfired. The struggles that Fitzgerald went through in support of his affluent lifestyle represent a struggling writer in his later years, a sharp contrast to his earlier years when his works sold off shelves in record-breaking numbers. This would also replicate after he died.
Many authors have clearly seen a divide between the early literary style that Fitzgerald portrayed and that of his later works. According to O’Toole (n.p.), the art and career-defining work of Fitzgerald is divided into two specific extremes. This is evident in the Great Gatsby, where he brought the two extremes together to light up the literature universe with one of the greatest novels of all time. The intellectual honesty that Fitzgerald portrays in Gatsby points out a core aspect that he has all along pushed against. He prompts and insists that money has its limitations. The initial view of money being a means of perfection was a perspective that he learned to later on dismiss. He had for a long time been an author that appealed to the masses by separating the power of money from the destructive power it had on the personalities of people. It was as if the moneyed autocracy he craved in his real-life had spilled over to his literary works.
Even his work, Tender Is the Night, where he was supposedly expected to reflect on the uncertainty and instability of the rich, who for him were the elite class, he still adorned them, attributing courage, honor, and inner security to them. The alluring force of money had forced him into shifting his definition of the aristocracy to the extent that it became to him a moral rather than a material state. O’Toole (n.p.) insists that his earlier novels might have had a little of this effect, but it is in his later works that the moral corruption got out of his and. His works later showed that he was a writer who had been gifted with a satiric eye but could not sustain it. His later works are filled with the display of flaws that are simply described as “carelessness and illiteracies” despite his unfailing ear for language that best makes fiction worthwhile. Fitzgerald’s works would have been itself entirely a pacesetter in American fiction had he maintained the consistency of the force he had initially.
The Great Gatsby
It would not be appropriate to analyze Fitzgerald’s literature style and work without analyzing The Great Gatsby and the influence it has on literature. Fitzgerald’s work is firmly cemented in his greatest work, The Great Gatsby. The novel was the most legendary of his works, and even before its completion, his publisher had known that it would be one of the greatest novels in shaping literature. The novel explores a war between the old rich and the new self-made riches that was the definition of the American dream. It explores an angle of the American dream that only a few have the courage to explore (Fitzgerald). However, this was marred by the rumors of precarious activities, including the possibility of illegal activities. It is an aspect that the old resistance used to justify the illegitimacy of the new rich. There is a Great War between the desire to attain change versus resistance to change. Fitzgerald is able to present them both in a manner that makes them both appealing, and the audience wants to side with both. Other great themes that are seen throughout the book include the myths of social class mobility, societal gender expectations, excess riches, and also reckless youth.
The novel’s greatest achievement was Fitzgerald’s ability to consummate and incorporate all the aspects that were the major topics of the century, including sex, cars, alcohol, the stock market, the flappers, and gangsters (Tredell). It ignores the poetic form of narration, and it adopts a prose form, a form that shapes and dictates how writing would later change to adopt from the old poetic style. This form is nonetheless capable of capturing the reader, luring them in, and not even a single line is deemed as inappropriate or not containing a proper construct. It all shapes the novels into one of the finest ever written prose forms. The events and the storytelling also reflect on a timeless aspect. It reflects on a still culture and conventional practices that are still evident today, reflecting how timeless The Great Gatsby is and will continue to be almost a century later.
Overly, the works of Fitzgerald had a significant influence over writing, and the authors of this age are greatly influenced by him. His unique style led to writers seeking to try and adapt to it as to appeal to the masses. History still recognizes his work as one of the greatest ever novels. He brought out a unique combination of fiction, narration, language, and style to develop one of the greatest ever styles that for years will continue been and serve as his greatest achievements. However, little research has been conducted over the years to establish his contributions to literature and the impact that he has had. More research would help understand and comprehend what made his style unique and what improvement can be done to revive the genre of fictional narration that has become almost phased out over the years.
Antolin, Pascale. “Has F. Scott Fitzgerald become a literary icon?.” Revue francaise detudes americaines 4 (2003): 111-115.
Breitwieser, Mitchell. “Jazz Fractures: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Epochal Representation.” American Literary History 12.3 (2000): 359-381.
Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. The Great Gatsby (1925). na, 1991.
O’Toole, Mary Dolorosa. An analysis of the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Diss. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1960.
Tredell, Nicolas. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby/Tender is the Night. Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.