An analysis of the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

O'Toole, Mary Dolorosa (1960) An analysis of the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the most talented novelists that America has produced, although he was not the most careful or the most prudent. From Henry James he inherited a social perceptiveness that vas often at an uneasy truce with his belief in The American Dream. Fitzgerald's art is divided between these extremes and only once, in The Great Gatsby (1925), did he succeed in welding them into a coherent whole. Of his other books, only The Last Tycoon (1941) shows the same understanding and objective grasp of material that makes The Great Gatsby so outstanding, but the novel is unfinished and it is impossible to say whether or not Fitzgerald could have succeeded a second time. -- A concern with money is paramount in Fitzgerald; he saw it as a means of perfection, until intellectual honesty forced him to recognize its limitations. To some extent all his novels deal with the isolating power of money and its destructiveness of personality. Because he possessed a Jamesian social conscience Fitzgerald attempted to find certainty in a moneyed aristocracy. Tender Is the Night (1934) is, in part, an analysis of the uncertainty and instability of the American rich who formed, for Fitzgerald, an elite; to them he attributed the virtues he admired: honour, courage and inner security. The corrupting power of money forced him to modify his view of aristocracy until it became a moral rather than a material state. -- Even his earlier novels, such as This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and Damned (1922), contain in embryo the ideas he later developed into a personal and national myth. Acutely conscious of his society, Fitzgerald was gifted with the satiric eye of a Jane Austen, but possessed neither her staying powers nor her social assurance. His works, The Vegetable (1923) excepted, are marked by a verbal brilliance, although marred by carelessness and illiteracies; he has an unfailing ear for language that makes his prose style the most vibrant in American fiction.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11184
Item ID: 11184
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 128-130.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1960
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.

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