How Fitzgeralds Life Influenced the Novel
In the novel The Great Gatsby there are similarities between Fitzgeralds life and Gatsbys. Gatsbys life revolves around Fitzgeralds real life experiences. Their motivation to do well in life and become wealthy both comes from their desire to please the women that they love and live the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Fitzgerald and Gatsby sacrificed their moral values, their integrity and their honesty to create a perfect life that is accepted by society and the women they love.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 24, 1986. Growing up he was very intelligent but he didnt do that well in school. Although he struggled he enrolled in Princeton in 1913 but never graduated. He enrolled in the army in 1917 during World War I. While he was stationed at camp Sheridan in Montgomery, Alabama, he met seventeen-year old Zelda Sayre who he soon fell in love with. Zelda was wild and like to party (much like the people who went to Gatsbys partys) and she wanted Fitzgerald to be rich and live a high-class society life. She would not even marry Fitzgerald until he published his book and it was successful. She had the same desire, to be wealthy and of a higher class than everyone else, as daisy. She wanted that sense of financial security and the happiness that comes from it. Of course, Fitzgerald did this so he could be with her even though it meant sacrificing his morals.
In his novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses Gatsby as a symbol of himself. Like Fitzgerald, Gatsby grew up poor and wanted to do more in his life. He always had high hopes of becoming rich and being better than he was. These dreams were hard to reach but Gatsby was determined after he met Dan Cody, who got him thinking about the business of selling alcohol. Gatsby went to college in Minnesota at St. Olaf. He went for two weeks and then dropped out. He then joined the army like Fitzgerald and met Daisy right before he was to go off. They were together for a month and Daisy was supposed to wait on Gatsby and they were to get married. She didnt though. Instead she met Tom Buchanan and married him before Gatsby had a chance to get back. Tom had old money and was very high up in society; Daisy wanted his life style so she married him. Gatsby was willing to sacrifice anything and everything for his old love Daisy and allows his life to completely revolve around her. Gatsby starts working in this illegal business to achieve his worthiness of Daisy, in which he drops his values of honesty and integrity, becomes obsessed with her, and in the end he takes the blame for her crimes and dies for her and she could care less. The first sign of this obsession is when Nick said he saw Gatsby at the water that night. He said he stretched his arms toward the dark water in a curious way I could have sworn he was trembling. Daisy represents a sort of beauty, naivety, innocence and wealth. However, as you get farther into the story you see how self-centered and careless she is. She was so worried about her own self that she didnt even care about killing Myrtle or the fact that she got Gatsby killed. She did not bother to call Nick in the end at Gatsbys funeral either. Daisy acts as if she is better than everyone and she wants to live the life of the upper class. Fitzgerald used Daisy to show the corruption of the American Dream by her carelessness and her willingness to leave behind love and sacrifice her morals to become wealthy.
In the end no one really cared about Gatsby, and end the end his money meant nothing. To some people the American dream is to make money, to some people it is to become famous. To Gatsby, it was to be married to Daisy. Gatsbys dream was not possible to start with because she was married. Gatsbys dream was weak because he wanted things to be as they were in the past. Finally it led to his own death because he wanted to pick up where he left off in the past which wasnt going to happen because things had changed and times were different. The Great Gatsby as he came to be known, was just a young boy who wanted love more than anything else in life. His pursuit of happiness and desire to achieve his dream took him to his grave. The American dream was corrupted in this book because they all wanted what other people had. They all wanted to be wealthy and to live the life of the rich and famous. Fitzgerald and Gatsby ended up losing in the end because they devoted their whole lives to having someone to love and to doing whatever it takes to get that. They wanted love so bad they sacrificed everything for it and in return Gatsby got killed and Fitzgerald had to put his in a mental institution. Their pursuit of love represents the pursuit of happiness. While Fitzgerald and Gatsby sacrificed their moral values, their integrity and their honesty to create a perfect life that was accepted by society and the women they loved it ultimately got them no where but dead or alone.