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Fitzgerald and Steinbeck: Depiction of a Shared Theme Essay

“Forgotten is Forgiven. ” This quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts the true reality of death, once death has taken you and you are forgotten, you are then forgiven. This reality is true in some literature of F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck. The Modern age (1915-1946) has covered some of America’s most important history. During this time period WWI occurred along with: the Roaring 20’s, The Great Depression, WWII and the H-bomb. These historical events gave modern literature characteristics that no other time period can replicate.

The great writing movement of modernism came along with the disbelief in the American Dream. There was no longer a need to “capture the essence of modern life. ” Many forms of the era were fragmented and not sequential. Many transitions, resolutions, interpretations, summaries and explanations were used that are common in traditional writings. Themes would relate to issues and events of the time, while having readers draw their own conclusions to these writings.

Many techniques of writing were used as well, like stream of consciousness (recreation of the natural flow of thoughts), and the use of symbolism and allusions to suggest themes. Fitzgerald, author of “Winter Dreams” and The Great Gatsby, and Steinbeck, author of “Flight” used modernistic writing and their personal life encounters to illustrate their thoughts that “nature serves as an escape from reality”. Being the fore front of Modernism, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck use similar settings, symbolism, and character development to depict a shared theme that nature can serve as an escape from reality.


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