The author F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Essay by kickme77High School, 10th gradeA, November 2003

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

As a icon of the "Lost Generation", F. Scott Fitzgerald portrayed the youthful Jazz Age of Americans in the 1920s. Fitzgerald defined the Jazz Age as a time when " a new generation [had] grown to find...all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken (Holt 436)." His life was filled with the same tragedies and disillusionments that plagued his characters. With a success to his first novel and a beautiful wife his future appeared bright, however his glamorous lifestyle was cut short by his own alcoholism and declining creativity.

Named for his famous distant cousin on his father's side: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1886 in St. Paul, Minnesota (Britannica 393). His father, Edward Fitzgerald, was a salesman whose furniture business had failed. Mary (Mollie) McQuillan, his mother, was the daughter of a successful wholesale grocer. Mary had lost two children to epidemics before her bright, handsome Scott came along (Kuehl).

The family moved regularly, but settled finally in St. Paul.

Fitzgerald started to write at St. Paul Academy at an early age. His high school newspaper published his detective stories, encouraging him to pursue writing more than academics. His first published story, "The Mystery of the Raymond Mortgage" appeared in 1909 in Now and Then. After high school Fitzgerald entered Princeton University in 1913, where he failed to become a football hero. He wrote the scripts and lyrics for the Princeton Triangle Club musicals and was a contributor to the Princeton Tiger humor magazine and the Nassau Literary Magazine. He left his studies in 1917 because of his poor academic records, and took up a commission in the US Army.

While stationed near Montgomery, Alabama in 1918, he met and fell in love with an 18-year-old Southern belle, Zelda Sayre. A...