F. Scott Fitzgerald's American Dream

1653 Words7 Pages
“Riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again.”(Fitzgerald). F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota, into a very prestigious, catholic family. Edward, his father, was from Maryland, and had a strong allegiance to the Old South and its values. Fitzgerald’s mother, Mary, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant who became wealthy as a wholesale grocer in St. Paul. His upbringing, affected much of his writing career. Half the time F. Scott Fitzgerald thought of himself as the “heir of his father's tradition, which included the author of The Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key, after whom he was named” (F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography). The other half the time he acted as “straight 1850 potato-famine Irish” (F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography). Consequently, he had typically indecisive feelings about American life, which seemed to him at once “vulgar and dazzlingly promising” (F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography). This idea is expressed in much of Fitzgerald’s writing. From an early age he had an “intensely romantic imagination” (F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography); he longed for a life of passion, fame and luxury. F. Scott Fitzgerald was not just one of America’s most prestigious short-story writer and novelist, he was also a celebrity. His writing is famous for its depictions of the Jazz Age in the 1920s. The Jazz Age during which Fitzgerald wrote “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” was a very complex period for United States. Americans experienced extremely materialistic tendencies during the post War World I boom. It was a very prosperous time period for most Americans as the natio... ... middle of paper ... ... that mocks the American society in terms of the corruptness of the American dream, the mistreatment of individuals and the limits of the power of wealth. The Jazz Age was a very modern and critical time period for literature in the US. America was viewed as a “new Eden, a promised land, of beauty, unlimited resources and endless opportunities.” (Dr. Probst) However, the overpowering desire for wealth eventually led the once innocent and pure society to turn into something dark and sinister; an endless desire for more and more materialistic goods. Americans stopped valuing the natural simplicities and beauties of life. Fitzgerald confronts this idea in his short story, "I never noticed the stars before. I always thought of them as great big diamonds that belonged to someone. Now they frighten me. They make me feel that it was all a dream, all my youth." (Fitzgerald)
Open Document