The Fitzgerald Formula: Comparing The Great Gatsby to the Lees of Happiness and the Camel's Back

Essay by defy.gravityUniversity, Bachelor'sB, September 2009

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F Scott Fitzgerald is often hailed as one of the greatest writers in the subject of the Jazz Age, a term he is even credited to have coined. He wrote many stories about life in the 1920's, some of which was semi-biographical. Two if his short stories in Six Tales of the Jazz Age and Other Stories that best exemplify his writing technique and mastery of the subject matter are The Camel's Back and the Lees of Happiness. But of course, The Great Gatsby will go down in history as being one of the greatest novels ever written. These stories have many things in common, and are, in fact, written in accordance to Fitzgerald's extremely worn out formula.

Before one can understand the stories of Fitzgerald, one must understand a little about Fitzgerald himself. Fitzgerald was forced into extravagant life by his wife, Zelda. Before she would marry him, she made him prove he could support the lifestyle she wanted them to live.

With the success of his first novel, the couple fell into a life of wild parties. Eventually, Fitzgerald succumbs to the effects of alcoholism and dies of a heart attack.

Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby has many shadows of his own life in the 1920's. Part of his life can be seen in Nick Carraway as well as Jay Gatsby himself. Nick, like Fitzgerald, hails from Minnesota and is intelligent enough to get into an Ivy League school, but instead chooses the military. Jay enlists in the military as well and is stationed in the southern United States. While there, he meets a beautiful young woman and falls in love with her. This is precisely how Fitzgerald met his wife.

Being able to interject his stories with facts and anecdotes from his own life is one...