11 May 2022


F Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age

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F Scott Fitzgerald had the twenties as one of the highlight years of his career. Notably, one would notice that the books written by Fitzgerald are set on the location in which he had been living at that particular time. The book The Beautiful and Damned was set in New York City because that was the time when Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were living there. The book is illustrated in Plate 3. From the cover page the other themes in the book can be depicted. The book was written in 1922 and the period that Fitzgerald and his wife were in New York City was between 1920 and 1921. It was after the publication of the book in 1922 that they had their daughter Frances Scott. While New York City, they rented a beautiful house at Great Neck, Long Island where as the town came to find out later, was a home that hosted very many individuals over parties in the history of literary works. Fitzgerald went ahead and stated that the parties were not a waste of time. He was quoted, "It is the custom now to look back ourselves of the boom days with a disapproval that approaches horror.” Fitzgerald had a major impact on the age of Jazz. It is almost impossible to talk of the Jazz age without mentioning F Scott Fitzgerald. He describes the age to be that of miracles. He wrote of the Jazz Age. "It was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire." It was an age of miracles." This is evident from the illustration Plate 2 where the same is depicted visually (Lance, 2000).

This period was a defining moment for the career of F Scott Fitzgerald especially as an author of novels. There was an intense period where things were flourishing economically, the people during that particular period were embracing their culture and molding themselves around it. The ills of the society were being addressed during that period. In the year 1925, F Scott Fitzgerald authored and published The Great Gatsby . The book is illustrated on Plate 1. This was defining for him as it led to eventual fame that followed right after. The publication of the book had great timing as it depicted the mood and the style of that era. Things, however, took a sudden turn ten years later and Fitzgerald describes it as those events "leaped to a spectacular death in October 1929." After the great fall in 1929, he took the time to write and lament on how he felt bad about how things had turned out that way. The essay was called "Echoes of the Jazz Age," and it featured his feelings on how he had made a lot of money during that period, garnered fame and all these was simply because he had written a book that was telling of his dreams and feelings and passing a message to the readers that he related to their situation.

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Explain what social influences shaped F. Scott Fitzgerald's writings.

There are social influences that shaped the publications of F. Scott Fitzgerald during his time. The 1920s was a period just after the world war where Americans were at a point where they were seeking peace. In addition, this period signified the growth in the economy of Europe. The individuals that were injecting into the economy were the new generations that were less concerned about old Western world traditions. The investors at this period then were concerned about advancing their own personal agendas and achieving a point of modernity that was heavily influenced the United States of America. 

An interesting aspect is that of prohibition. Notably, at that period in the Unites States of America, the prohibition that was placed on alcohol use led to the rise of another industry. A lot of clubs and discos were coming up so that those that indulge get a place to do so. In addition, they also had a chance to listen to the new and trending jazz music. As the proprietors did not care for traditional values, a new culture developed. The sexual culture greatly changed. In his book, Bernice Bobs Her Hair , Fitzgerald talks of women who had bobbed their hair and that wore really short skirts or rather that walked around in attires that are only seen in Halloween parties. It was also around this time that women were given the right to participate in elections through voting in the United States of America. The notion that a woman that drinks alcohol and smokes is a prostitute changed as women were seeing doing the same in America. Europe was at a point of adopting all these new ideas and cultures from the United States of America (Fitzgerald, 2002).

Explain his relationship with his wife, and how Zelda affected F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing?

The relationship between Fitzgerald and his wife had a huge impact on his writing; that can be viewed both in a positive and in a negative light. The amount of money that he made from being an author went a long way in growing him as a writer. They were both alcoholics and indulged themselves in drugs as well were constantly fighting. The couple was unfaithful to one another and were constantly seen flirting with other people. Zelda was a very creative person as well but things were taking a toll on the relationship and she was getting mental disorders. As earlier mentioned, in 1929 after the tragedy at the stock market things got worse. The instability of the relationship with Zelda greatly affected Fitzgerald and his writing became less, such that he wrote more short stories than novels in order to quickly sell them off and maintain the lavish life of his wife who came from an affluent family. This reduced his credibility as a writer. A book that he authored in 1931 Babylon Revisited Fitzgerald talked about how things greatly changed and this was mostly because of what happened with Zelda. Fitzgerald writes, "I spoiled this city for myself. I didn't realize it, but the days came along one after another, and then two years were gone, and everything was gone, and I was gone." (Fitzgerald, 2002).

Analyze relationships he had while living in Paris with Hemingway and Picasso.

F Scott Fitzgerald had friendly relationships, Hemingway and Picasso. Ernest Hemingway actually visited Paris for the first time because of the good economic weather during that time. He was honest with Fitzgerald about his wife Zelda. He mentioned that he thought Zelda was a huge mistake that he was making. In comparison to the two, Picasso was more organized. By the time when the two were making a debut into the literary industry, Pablo was already established. At that time, he had already made incredible sales to collectors in the United States of America as well as at the beginning of the century. In reference to Picasso, Fitzgerald and Picasso were not very close friends. On the contrary, they met in the literary parties in France where both of them lived at some point during their careers. Being from the same industry, they found themselves around the same circles during the most time. Very little is written about their interaction and relationship. (Lance, 2000).

What inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to write his books?

The greatest influencers for Fitzgerald to write his books, besides Zelda, includes Sayre Fitzgerald, Princeton, Literature as well as alcohol and drugs. His ambition as an individual also led him to write books.

How does The Beautiful and Damned compare with The Great Gatsby? How they differed?

According to Lance (2000), the American dream is a theme that is explored by both of these books. The American Dream talks of the potential that an individual has to succeed in life especially financially. Women as a theme are also explored and their roles in society on how different cultures and men mold themselves around that. The books are also similar in the sense that the characters talk of achieving true happiness. The books are different in terms of how the setting and timing of the books are different.

Include in the paper an explanation of how your research is relevant to a study of Picasso.

This particular study is relevant to the study of Picasso as Fitzgerald was an important person and artist that contributed to the works of Picasso. It is almost impossible to speak of Picasso without mentioning Fitzgerald.


Fitzgerald, F. S. (2002).  The beautiful and damned . Random House Digital, Inc.

Lance, J. (2000). The Great Gatsby: driving to destruction with the rich and careless at the wheel.  Studies in Popular Culture 23 (2), 25-35.

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