An Era Understood Through Fitzgerald’s Characters

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“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.… Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.… And one fine morning—” (Fitzgerald 180). In this quote from The Great Gatsby, Nick attempts to describe the nature of Gatsby’s hope and draws the parallel to all of our hopes and dreams that we have as Americans. F. Scott Fitzgerald, an American novelist and short-story writer, was an amazing author who used his work, just like in the quote above, to write about the Roaring Twenties and the hopes of Americans during that time. His earlier works show an idealistic feeling for the potentials of life at college and in “The East,” he attained the sobriquet of “the spokesman of the Jazz Age.” His third novel, The Great Gatsby, is one of the most powerful portrayals of American life and the pursuit of the great American dream during the 1920s. Throughout this paper, Fitzgerald’s excellent job in conveying the lifestyle and pursuit of the American dream through his characters, in both The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”, will be reflected upon. Fitzgerald’s life influences on his works, why he is regarded as a historian of the 1920s and how Fitzgerald uses his characters to reveal the Roaring Twenties era, will all be explored.

Fitzgerald, during his youth, showed a talent for dramas, first writing original plays for amateur fabrication. While at Princeton, he composed stanzas for the university's well-known Triangle Club productions. Before he had the opportunity to graduate, he volunteered during World War I for the army. Due to his enlistment, he spent the weekends writing the original drafts of his first novel. The work was a success and accepted in 1919 by Charles Scribner’s S...

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