Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew up in an upper-middle class family where he enjoyed the traditions of the upper classes, but not the financial ability to uphold those practices. Fitzgerald acquired his fame, almost overnight, with the publication of his first book, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. His extensive career began with the writing of stories for mass-circulation magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post. That same year, he married Zelda Sayre, who later became one his major influences on his writing, along with iterature, Princeton, and alcohol.
In the summer of 1924, Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, a novel about the American dream. This novel was written in Fitzgerald’s own time. The reader is able to see his insight and artistic integrity in the way that which the novel is composed. He brings forth the values that he embraced at least partially in his own life, such as materialism and the magic of wealth, which are clearly placed in the characters of The Great Gatsby. The novel is almost a paradox of his own biography: a unique materialism in which men attempt to reate happiness from material achievement.
The novel received the most striking critical appraisal, just as predicted by Fitzgerald. This honorary event marked the climax of his fame, however, his reputation faded from then on. With the illness of his wife, he reflected his experiences in his further work, such as Tender Is the Night. Some other examples of his work include The Beautiful and Damned and The Love of the Last Tycoon. At the age of forty-four, Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack. Since his death, critics have come to see his work as a eflection of the American culture and of “The Twenties”, a noteworthy representation of his people that is saturated with meaning today.
The story of Gatsby takes place in the 1920’s, a time that began with the closing of the bloodiest conflict the world had ever witnessed. The European society had suffered spiritually from the effects of World War I, yet life in America became a time of material demand. The twenties are best known as a decade when American business was riding high and increases in productivity brought hundreds of new products within the reach of the average consumer.
The widespread impact of the stock market downturn heightened the popular view of the importance of the economy during the 1920’s. Americans perceived business as the source of this new good life; thus, materialism grew. The fact that The Great Gatsby takes place during the actual life of Scott Fitzgerald is very significant to the story because in his world, the setting reveals the nature of the characters. Much of the story is described about the West Egg and East Egg, two distinct locations of Long Island.
Tom and Daisy Buchanan, the primary xamples of the stable upper class, live in the wealthiest area of Long Island: East Egg. They are satisfied with their inherited traditions and long-term financial situation. Tom and Daisy lack the tastelessness that Gatsby is characteristic of. Jay Gatsby and Nick are residents of West Egg; both have acquired wealth in their lives yet do not have the sheer intelligence associated with prosperity. If looked at from a moral perspective, East Egg and West Egg both carry a kind of individual fault, whether it is rudeness or emptiness.
New York City, home of he apartment of Tom’s mistress and the Plaza Hotel, is where money is made and where pleasure is gained. Parties and social events take place there. The story also occurs in the home of Gatsby, a place that circulates a cycle of guests. The house is both meaningless and bland, almost an illusion created by money. In general, the setting is directly related to the main theme of the story: the American dream, in the sense that each character, based on their residence, tries to prevail themselves greatly into the faux realm of riches.