True Friendship in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Categories: F Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, born on September 24th in St. Paul, Minnesota, was an American novelist and short-story writer famous for his illustration of the Jazz Age after World War I. He died on December 21st in Hollywood, however, he left behind many remarkable and memorable works such as The Side of Paradise, Tales of the Jazz Age and one of his most brilliant novels being The Great Gatsby. Those guaranteed that his talent will always be remembered and his brilliant writing, honoured as he deserved to be recalled as The Great American Dreamer.

(1 - Arthur Mizener)

As far as we consider the sphere of literature, New York can be defined as the lucky city since every few decades it produces a writer who depicts its stories, triumphs, tragedies and romance, and F.Scott Fitzgerald, who perfectly described America in the 1920s, represents one of those. (3 - Karin Ek) There are certain factors which influenced the American novelist writing, most of which pledged in his younger and more vulnerable years - his childhood and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald are amongst the most vital ones that had the greatest impact on his creativity later on.

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(6 - A brief Life of Fitzgerald)Scott grew up embarrassed by his mother and it was not until one of his sisters, Louise Scott Fitzgerald to whom he was named after, died that he claimed - Well, three months before I was born my mother lost her other child.I think I started then to be a writer (4 - F.

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Scott Fitzgerald). It goes without saying that after the death of her two daughters, Mollie Fitzgerald became the perfect example of an overprotective mother (7 - F. Scott Fitzgerald " A Brief Examination of Alcoholism in a Literary Icon) being most famous for her eccentricities which disturbed young Scott's life.

Fitzgerald later described her as a 'half insane with pathological nervous worry (5 - Childhood Influences Impact the Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald). The author was also...ashamed and alternatively proud of his father. (7 - F. Scott Fitzgerald " A Brief Examination of Alcoholism in a Literary Icon). This shame was induced because of his parents absence in the upper echelon of the society thus setting the tone and ambition that one day he must insert himself among the moneyed and authoritative classes - a desire which influenced and can be observed in many of his works. (7 - F. Scott Fitzgerald " A Brief Examination of Alcoholism in a Literary Icon) Another major factor that impacted Fitzgerald writing was his wife Zelda Fitzgerald. She never managed to recover from a mental breakdown which incited Scott to create writings where he included her attitude as a base that assisted him in designing the story characters. (8 - Zelda was the major influential factor in his writing.). For instance, in his novel The Great Gatsby, Zelda inspired the characterization of Daisy Buchanan.

Through Daisy, Scott aimed to describe his contentious relationship with Zelda. Additionally, in order to prevent his parents from knowing any details, he wrote short stories to pay for his wife's mental care - Fitzgerald's later years were plagued by financial worries and his wife's progressive insanity - quote illustrating how Zelda's insanity forced Fitzgerald to write at at a faster pace since he needed money for her treatment. (8 - Zelda was the major influential factor in his writing.).Undoubtedly, one of Fitzgerald's greatest novels of all time was The Great Gatsby and there are several reasons which influenced Scott to create it. In order to dive deeper, we first need to understand what period were the Roaring Twenties actually. They could be described with frivolous days and exciting nights. Life was good for most of the people and times were thriving. No one cared much about the burden of life while instead focused on partying and merriment. People were careless inconsiderate, greedy and jovial (10 - Neal Farren).

Consequently, one of the book's major themes is connected with The American Dream which theoretically means that anyone who works hard enough deserve to be able to achieve personal success, financial stability or in other words wealth and happiness. What influenced Scott cover up that specific topic was the shame against his father and the mission he pledged to himself since he was a little boy, namely, to become part of the dominant society as well as to be wealthy and successful (9 - Purpose Of The Great Gatsby). The author's relationship with Zelda also had a great impact on the novel. The Great Gatsby is a story of the hard and barely impossible love between Daisy Buchanan, a moneyed girl expecting from her husband to be wealthy enough to sustain her thus promising a carefree and indulgent life, and Jay Gatsby who was not able to neither ensure nor fulfill those requirements and wishes at the beginning. The same situation we can observe between Scott and Zelda.

The latter came from a wealthy Alabama family and at first turned down on Scott since she wanted him to prove his abilities to provide her with affluence throughout the success of his first novel. In both cases, the rich require the poor to begin chasing wealth so that they can fit in their whims.The title and foremost character of the novel - Jay Gatsby, is an extremely wealthy thirty years old man, living in a modern mansion in West Egg. However, he was not always acquiring opulence. Derived from a poor family, young Gatsby was forced to rise from the destitution in order to fulfill his wish to be rich. While working for a millionaire his dedication to the goal of obtaining wealth was influenced even more. His major motivation throughout the years was the beautiful Daisy Buchanan whom he met as a young military officer in Louisville and loved unconditionally. Jay was enchanted by her charm, and aura of splendour and grace. In order to prove that he was good enough, Gatsby even lied about his background.

However, despite her promise that she will wait for him to return from the war, Daisy married Tom Buchanan and since then Gatsby dedicated his life to winning her back. Nick's view of Gatsby describes the latter as a vulgar and dishonest man, whose extraordinary optimism and power to transform his dreams into reality make him great nonetheless. (11 - Jay Gatsby - SparkNotes) Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter”tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . And one fine morning”So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back carelessly into the past.. (The Great Gatsby book - chapter 9) This quote illustrates his childish and naive attitude which resulted in his doom at the end. As last words in the novel, they aim to continue the metaphor of the green light as an incarnation of hope, especially concerning the future times.

The boast against the current emphasizes the strain in achieving a dream, hoping for better times. Nevertheless, we can't escape from the past. (12)If Gatsby is one part - a wealthy celebrity whose mission in life is to impress the woman he loved , then Nick's personality is the other - a quite, tolerant, kind and open-minded person who was dropped in a society with completely different understandings and beliefs than those he knew beforehand. He decided to move to the East because he aimed to study the bond business. Surprisingly enough, his house turned out to be right next door to Gatsby's one and as a result they became really close as the story proceeded. But is was not only that they were neighbours which influenced Jay to unblock himself and talk to Nick, sharing him all his secrets about the live he led since he was a little kid. The narrator's trustworthiness and good listening skills fastened the process as well. His kinship with Daisy Buchanan enabled him to participate and assist in her love story with Jay. Actually, he was the one responsible for their reunion and later rekindle of passion. As the story proceeds, we can observe the major conflict within the narrator. He was both attracted and disgusted by the fast-pace society in New York and most importantly by those he knew best.

This internal contradiction can be noticed from his romantic affair with Jordan - Nick likes her gaiety, but he is also repelled by the dishonesty and unreliability towards others. Nick describes the society as a quality of distortion which made him suffer the loss of balance especially when he was drunk in the beginning of the novel. After specific events that happened - such as Gatsby's funeral and the millionaire failure in fulfilling his dream, Nick realises that the merriment and joy in the East are faking the reality - New York and its people are most likely symbolizing the valley of ashes with their moral emptiness and absence of values than a cheerful and truly happy society. This provoked Nick's redundancy and forced him to return back to West in search for a more quiet place where he will be able to recover and rest. (13 - Nick Carraway - SparkNotes)Scott Fitzgerald lived during the 1920s which assisted the most in the creation of the storyline of The Great Gatsby.

The author even implemented experiences from his own live during that time. The period plays a very important role in the book and results in the story being even more effective to its readers. (14 - Gabrielle Southern) Nick Carraway's backgrounds matches the one of Scott - native from Minnesota, their parents both send them to study in ivy league schools. In the novel, Nick serves as Fitzgerald's voice as in his cogitation on time and about the American dream at the end of the book. (14 - Gabrielle Southern) As well as Nick Carraway, Scott's life can be mirrored as the one of Jay Gatsby since the two join the military - the latter participates in World War I and Fitzgerald is part of the United States army. While being at war, both of them fell in love with a girl, in Jay's case that is Daisy Buchanan, and it Scott's - Zelda. By wishing to become rich and successful, Gatsby wanted to impress his beloved one, and Scott aimed to achieve the same, though with Zelda. (13 - Nick Carraway - SparkNotes)

I find the real love story of the book to be represented by the friendship of Nick and Gatsby. Without it the whole story won't have been narrated since it was mainly provoked by Nick's obsession and astonishment to Jay. He was disgusted by the society's lack of morals and the only one who was exempt from his reaction was Gatsby whom he describes as a representation of everything for which I had an unaffected scorn..If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life... Moreover, Nick was intrigued by Gatsby's personality from the first day he saw him on the neighbours dock, stretching his arm toward the green light. He seems to be wondering what is the life of the lonely man, what he feels and thinks. And even I find something in common between me and the main character. Naive and hopeful for better times, sometimes I forgot that in attempt to fulfill my wishes I happen to forget valuing what I have blindly believing in the green light.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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True Friendship in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from

True Friendship in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby essay
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