F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by Nik WoodA+, November 1996

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important American writers of his time. He wrote about the troubling time period in which he lived known as the Jazz Age. During this era people were either rich or dreamt of great wealth. Fitzgerald fell into the trap of wanting to be wealthy, and suffered great personal anguish because of these driving forces. I have chosen to write a term paper on F.Scott Fitzgerald. The goal of this presentation is to show F. Scott Fitzgerald's life through his defeats and triumphs and how these situations affected his life as a writer.

Fitzgerald's life started in the Midwestern part of the United States. On September 24, 1896, he was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. F. Scott Fitzgerald was of Irish heritage on both sides and was distantly related to Francis Scott Key, for whom he is named, and to Maryland aristocracy.

His parents, Edward Fitzgerald of the Glen Mary Farm near Rockville, Maryland and Mary McQuillan of St. Paul wed February 13, 1890 in Washington, D.C. Fitzgerald's maternal grandfather was a very successful wholesale merchant. His grandfather's early death and his father's inability to keep a job, forced the family to be extremely dependent on the wealth of his grandfather's estate. Fitzgerald attended the St. Paul Academy as a child. In 1911 he entered the Newman School in Hackensack, NJ. Growing up with a father who was out of work and who relied on his wife's inheritance gave Fitzgerald a mixed feeling of guilt and shame and yet he felt love for both his parents. These inner conflicts in his early life could have contributed to his inability to manage his finances, along with his constant obsession of gaining extreme wealth.

Fitzgerald later went to Princeton...