Essay On Zelda In The Great Gatsby

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On September 24, 1896, a man was born who would to become one of the greatest authors in American history. Short story writer and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of the classic American novel The Great Gatsby, used his experiences and relationships during the early 1900s to inspire his writing. In specific regards to The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s relationship with his wife Zelda directly corresponds to his creation of the character Daisy Buchanan, and informs his critique of the American elite of the 1920s. Zelda directly inspired Daisy; this can be seen through the similarities in their upbringings and in their personalities. Zelda and Daisy were each brought up in very wealthy, old-money families in the southeast. Both women were social-climbing women interested in marrying up the social ladder, and both were materialistic, attention-seeking, and recklessly uninhibited. Additionally, through his negative portrayal of Daisy in The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s critique of the American elite can be seen to stem from his relationship with his wife. It was the relationship with Zelda that led to Fitzgerald’s critique of wealthy America, and the character of Daisy directly represents her. The parallel between Zelda and Daisy can first be drawn in regards to their upbringing and personalities. Zelda and Daisy were brought up in well-to-do southern families. Zelda Sayre was born Montgomery, Alabama and was the daughter of a wealthy Alabama Supreme Court justice (Biography.com). Similarly, Daisy Fay grew up wealthy in Kentucky, living in a “rich house” with the “largest of the lawns” in Louisville (Fitzgerald 149 & 74). Zelda and Daisy were both popular young socialites as well; Daisy was “the most popular of all the y... ... middle of paper ... ...im to critique American society in the 1920s, and Zelda specifically was the inspiration for the character of Daisy Buchanan. The parallel can be drawn between the two women when examining their similarly wealthy upbringings and their selfish personalities. It is often said that the key to good writing is to ‘write what you know’, and in this case, Fitzgerald did just that- this novel is basically a thinly veiled autobiography. His unpleasant life experiences led him to be very critical of the wealthy, and it was ultimately his own wife that inspired this criticism. However, the importance of this great novel is not that its author drew on life experience to craft his critique. While that is interesting, what really matters is that it continues to be taught, because Fitzgerald’s message that society is corrupted is certainly one that still applies today.
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