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The Work of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Satisfactory Essays
Francis Scott Fitzgerald once said "Mostly we authors must repeat ourselves?that's the truth. We have two or three experiences in our lives? experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time that anyone else has been so caught up" (de Koster n. pag.). Fitzgerald's works contain many themes that are based from experiences in his life. Many of these experiences he talks about were with the women in his life. People like his mother, Ginerva King, and Zelda Sayre all had major impacts on Fitzgerald. The women in F. Scott Fitzgerald's life influenced his writing in a number of ways. The first major woman to make and impression on Fitzgerald's life was his mother. Mary (Mollie) McQuillan was of Irish decent. Her parents were Irish immigrants who became rich as grocery owners in St. Paul (Bruccoli 1). Mollie inherited a fair amount of money from her family, but the family had difficulty maintaining the high standard of living they were accustomed to (Bloom 11). When they fell into financial trouble it was her father they turned to. The fact that Fitzgerald's mother, rather than his father, was the financial foundation for their family influenced Fitzgerald greatly. Even as a young boy he was aware of this situation. The theme that arose from this about a wife's inherited money appears frequently in Fitzgerald's writing (Magill 679). When the Fitzgeralds fell into financial trouble, the family had to depend on Mollie's family's money. When times like that came Mollie "abandoned the attempt to Tarleton 2 keep up her personal appearance (neglecting both grooming and fashion), which embarrassed her fastidious son. Scott later recorded a dream in which he admitted being ashamed of her" (de Koster 15). Furthermore, Fitzgerald's attitude toward his mother influenced him as a person. Because two of Mollie's children had died before Fitzgerald, she was very protective of him. She often worried about his health and babied him. But "her attempts to spoil him strengthened his distaste for her" (de Koster 15). She wanted her only son to have "social ambition" ("Brief Biography 1). Fitzgerald's negative description of her in "An Author's Mother" where he describes her as "a halting old lady" in a "preposterously high-crowned hat" reveals his feelings (de Koster 15). Fitzgerald was affected by all these emotions towards his mother in his personality and his work. Another influence on Fitzgerald was his first love, Ginerva King.