Although the authors us fictitious characters and events, novels are

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Although the authors us fictitious characters and events, novels are

often surprisingly accurate portraits of their time

Although the authors us fictitious characters and events, novels are

often surprisingly accurate portraits of their time. To what extent do

you think The Great Gatsby is a novel of this type?

The Great Gatsby, written in the early 1920’s, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

portrays the type of high class life the rich were living during this

time. Extravagance was the key to everything, parties, drinking, cars,

relationships, and life. Everybody seemed to have money. This time was

known as “The Roaring 20’s”, or “The Golden 20’s.” We see this type of

culture in its extremity in The Great Gatsby. We can also assume that

it was this type of life that Fitzgerald himself led. He was born into

a fairly well-to-do family. In 1896 he attended, but never graduated

from, Princeton University. It was here he mingled with the moneyed

classes from the Eastern Seaboard who created an obsession for the

rest of his life. In 1917 he was drafted into the army, but he never

saw active service abroad. He married the beautiful Zelda Sayre and

together they embarked on a rich life of endless parties. Dividing

their time between America and fashionable resorts in Europe, the

Fitzgerald’s’ became as famous for their lifestyle as for the novels

he wrote. “Sometimes I don't know whether Zelda and I are real or

whether we are characters in one of my novels”, which he wrote to pay

for his extravagant lifestyle.

We can see just how similar Gatsby and Fitzgerald are. Gatsby, unlike

Fitzgerald was born into a fairly poor family, but soon met Dan Cody

and Daisy, who, both very rich led him to the obsession to also become

rich. I believe it was mainly the influence of daisy for this. He was

desperately in love with her, but stood no chance all the while he had

no money. ”She only married you because I was poor and she was tired

of waiting for me.” Also like Fitzgerald, Gatsby went to University

and never finished. “It was in nineteen – nineteen, I only stayed five

months. That’s why I can’t really call myself an Oxford man.” Gatsby

was also in the army during the war, “Why yes, I was in the twenty –

eighth infantry.” The only major difference we can see between the two

men is that Gatsby never married the “beautiful” Daisy. He never made

it to marriage, this could possibly be because he never had money,

unlike Fitzgerald, who made his money, and then met Zelda.

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