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Fitzgerald's Taps At Reveille Essay

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Fitzgerald’s “Taps At Reveille”


During his lifetime, Scott Fitzgerald was known primarily as a short-story writer. In his twenty-year career, he published a hundred and sixty-four stories in various magazines, and forty-four were written in the last six years of his life. Published by Scribner’s in 1935, “Taps At Reveille”, a short-story collection, composed eighteen of those last efforts. Critics met it with mixed reviews: one called it “appealing”1 while another, “feeble and inadequate”1.

But the 1930’s were particularly difficult years for the Fitzgeralds. By mid-decade (and the year of publication for “Taps At Reveille”) Scott’s drinking had spiraled into full blown alcoholism, Zelda, Scott’s wife, was in the throes of a third schizophrenic break-down which would require hospitalization, and both Fitzgeralds were heavily in debt 3. In addition, the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression, which exacerbated money-related problems for everyone.

Matters never really improved for Fitzgerald after “Taps” came out. Around 1934 he began to write stories alm...


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