The Great Gatsby: A Work of Fiction or an Autobiography

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The Great Gatsby: A Work of Fiction or an Autobiography?

The idea of reflection is a “thing that is a consequence or arises from something else” (Oxford). Reflection is something F. Scott Fitzgerald knows a great deal of and a tool he uses in his literary works. Fitzgerald grew up in a middle class family and attended a prestigious university, although for a short period. He also met a troubled, beautiful woman who affected him deeply and would be the muse of a significant character in his renowned novel, The Great Gatsby (O’Brien). In his novel, Fitzgerald uses some of his own life experiences as inspiration to write the sensational plot and create the unique characters. In The Great Gatsby, the reader realizes the impact Fitzgerald’s life had on his writing through his experiences with his family, women, and alcohol.

Throughout The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald consistently uses parallelism to portray Gatsby as a reflection of himself and of his life. As a young man, he attended Princeton University, well aware that we wanted to become a famous writer, but became heavily involved with drinking. This behavior caused his grades to drop significantly and soon led to his withdrawal from college. Fitzgerald used his own failed attempt at college as inspiration for Gatsby’s character, although his withdrawal was not for the same reason; “It was in nineteen-nineteen. I only stayed five months. That’s why I can’t really call myself an Oxford man” (129). After failing to graduate from Princeton University, Fitzgerald enlisted himself in the army as a form of self-redemption in hopes of becoming a successful soldier. Gatsby also enlisted himself in the army when he left Oxford as a means to gain success and wealth.

While statione...

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...itzgerald’s alcohol abuse inspired Gatsby’s opinion on alcohol. After finishing the novel, the reader might ask if The Great Gatsby a work of fiction or a very close resemblance to Fitzgerald’s autobiography?

Works Cited

"Consequence.” Oxford Advanced American Dictionary, 2011. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner,1996. Print

O’Brien, Tim. “F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)” Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print

O’Hearn, Dierdre. “F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great American Dream.” A&E Biography. 14 April 1997. History Television Network Productions. DVD

Perkins, Barbara, and George Perkins. “F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)” The American Tradition in Literature 12th Edition. New York, NYC: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print

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