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F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul,” Minnesota and christened by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Scott’s father, Edward, was a businessman who came from a background characterized by good breeding, elegance, and charm. His mother, Mollie McQuillan came from a rich background- born by an Irish immigrant, lived in affluence but detached from the extravagant life of her society then.
As a family, the Fitzgeralds weren’t interested in the lavish lifestyle of the rich and mighty even though they were surrounded by the Upper-Class in Summit Avenue, where they lived. Young F. Scott Fitzgerald started blending with his society during his youth spent in Minnesota.
Scott’s family moved to New York when the father lost his business and got a job in 1897. But, in 1908, the family moved back to St. Paul to live with the McQuillan. Scott didn’t spend much time in St. Paul because he lived in the boarding school, then went to Princeton University, later joined the Army, and finally landed in New York.
Fitzgerald’s parents enrolled him into the St. Paul Academy in 1908 to school amongst the elites in the society. While there, Scott became one of the best students in debate and athletics, and in 1909, he published his first piece titled “The Mystery of the Raymond Mortgage” in “Now & Then,” the school’s magazine. His career kicked off from there as he began to write while still schooling at St Paul.
Scott met his mentor, Fr. Sigourney Fay, in 1911 when he went to a prep school, Newman School, run by the Catholic Church in Hackensack, New Jersey. While there, he published three more stories in their literary magazine and 1913, Scott enrolled in Princeton University. While in the University, Fitzgerald wrote lyrics, scripts, and in 1918, he wrote “The Romantic Egotist.”
Marriage and Work
When Scott was 22 years old, he met 18-year old Zelda Sayre, the daughter of a Supreme Court Judge in Montgomery, Alabama. Even though the two fell in love, they couldn’t get married then because Fitzgerald didn’t have the means to support her. In 1919, Zelda broke the engagement, but after Scott published “This Side of Paradise”, the two lovebirds got married. The birth of their only child Frances Scoot Fitzgerald took place in 1921, and in 1948, Zelda died in a mental hospital in a fire incident.
Scott was one of the popular American writers during his time. Some of his novels are “This Side of Paradise” which he wrote in 1920, “Beautiful and the damned” in 1922 as a series in Metropolitan Magazine. In 1925 Scott published “The Great Gatsby” which he wrote to explore American society after the world war. His fourth novel titled “Tender Is The Night” came in 1934 almost ten years after the third. Before he died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, Scott was writing his fifth novel titled “The Last Tycoon” which was later published in 1941. The novel was inspired by Sheilah Graham with whom he was in a romantic relationship with before he died. Fifty years later, in 1993, a Fitzgerald scholar, Matthew Bruccoli, edited the novel and published as “The Love of the Last Tycoon.”
Many of Scott’s works were published in Metropolitan Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, The American Mercury, etc. He also published three short stories, titled “Flappers and Philosophers” in 1920, “Tales of the Jazz Age” in 1922 and “All the Sad Young Men” in 1926.
As if it was a premonition, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s end nearly became identical to that of one character Jay Gatsby in his novel “The Great Gatsby.” Scott, who was one of the famous people during the Jazz Age, only achieved condescending obituaries during his death. Many of his books then were almost forgotten, but luckily after World War II, his works resurfaced and has since become a part of the American literary society.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the American Writers who focused their strength on exposing the inequalities, emptiness, extravagance, and carelessness of the elite after the World War. People have come to appreciate his dedication and hard work to explore the themes of equity, ambition, the American dream, and justice.