The Mind and Life of Fitzgerald and the Great Gatsby
Karlyn Steadman Mrs. Shaw Jr/Sr Honors English 8 May 2009 The Mind and life of Fitzgerald and the Great Gatsby: A Psychoanalytical Criticism Like many writers today F. Scott Fitzgerald either consciously or unconsciously wrote about himself in the book known as The Great Gatsby. Many of the books characters such as Daisy, Nick and even Gatsby himself show characteristics similar to people in Fitzgerald’s life and also Fitzgerald himself. Nick and Gatsby show lifestyles and desires of Fitzgerald’s, when Daisy and Daisy’s daughter show the actions and the thoughts of Fitzgerald’s own beloved wife and Daughter.
In this text it is clearly seen how Fitzgerald’s life is shown and stated in his book, The Great Gatsby. In Fitzgerald’s life there were many different influences for his lifestyle and his literature. In a biography title A Brief Life of Fitzgerald they say “the dominant Influences on F. Scott Fitzgerald were aspiration literature, Princeton, Zelda Sayre, Fitzgerald and alcohol” (Bruccoli pg1). In Fitzgerald’s when attending Princeton he met Father Sigourney who helped push him into his ambitions for personal distinction and achievement. Fitzgerald used this and wrote many books and article.
So in writing the Great Gatsby, He even stated in the beginning of the book how family and the representation of a father is so important. In the very first chapter of the book it states “In my younger more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice” (Fitzgerald pg 5). In the book we also see Nick, a party man and a light drinker show signs of being influenced by the same thing as Fitzgerald. Nick loved being on the richer side, so he went where he knew the money was, bond selling on the west egg (Fitzgerald pg 7). Fitzgerald was also easily influenced by money and partying and drinking also.
Fitzgerald lived a life of high style parties drinking and writing for the money. Even Zelda his wife, wouldn’t marry him because he then didn’t have enough money (Bruccoli Pg1). So influences always are present in the writer himself and his writings also. In 1918 Fitzgerald was still in the army, and was assigned to Camp Sheridan, that is where he met his wife Zelda Sayre. You can see that in The Great Gatsby because, Jay Gats meets Daisy right before he leaves for the war. He then falls in love with at the time, her and all of a sudden she believes she’s in love with him.
When you keep reading the book you then find that Gatsby only falls in love with the thought and the life style that he wanted, and Daisy only fell in love with his money. Well if you read about the biography of Fitzgerald you will see that when he had no money Zelda would not marry him. That then makes it seem that she was only falling in love with his money, just like Daisy. Zelda, after spending a near 11-13 years in different mental hospitals and extended the extent of the bad relationship that her and Fitzgerald had, gave birth to their daughter Scottie (Buccoli pg 3).
Daisy also had a daughter during a non stable relationship with her husband also. While Zelda was in the mental hospitals Fitzgerald then ran around with other women (Portway). Now even though Daisy was not admitted into a mental hospital her husband, that character Tom had an affair with a women just as Fitzgerald did, And as Tom stated in chapter two to Nick “I want you to meet my girl” (Fitzgerald pg 28). In this stating his love and possessiveness of Myrtle, the women he was having the affair with.
Now it is unknown that Fitzgerald had a true possessive relationship with a mistress, but if there is any hints in his writing that is where it would be. In Fitzgerald’s life, he was highly involved in the life style of money. He was born into money, and lived as a spoiled kid. So it’s only natural for him to write about the pros and cons of that in his book. In the first chapter, you can see that Nick is also born in the same situation, but he can never live the life of a common person because of it. And that is also how Fitzgerald was also. Daisy in the Great Gatsby was born into amazing, wealth.
That being the only reason Jay Gats fell in love with her. She lived the life of money and wealth, and that is how Zelda was raised also. She was then raised in a very rich family, and not only did Fitzgerald think she was the most beautiful women alive, calling her the golden girl (as Gatsby called Daisy in the book) but also married into a wealthy family. As Fitzgerald was writing this, the envy of his writing is noticeable in the writing of the love of Gatsby and Daisy, as in his personal life with Zelda In the Great Gatsby, there are many parties being held.
That is even where Nick had met Gatsby. In the book Gatsby would throw elaborate parties so he could attract the attention of Daisy. Well in Fitzgerald’s life he went to multiple parties also. He and Zelda were always the main invites for every party around, till they drank their welcome away from everyone. Now Fitzgerald did not attend parties to attract Zelda, it still shows how his life is a direct and indirect influence on the plots, themes and settings of his writings. Now in this book there is a lot of originality and also imagination in the writings of this book.
But also with all of Fitzgerald’s life situations such as the problems with his wife, and the many good and bad influences, made a huge impact on his book. In reading so, Fitzgerald’s book can be seen as a psychological reading of his life. And Even if he does say not to read it that way, it seems to be the main eye catcher of the book. Works Cited “A Brief Life of Fitzgerald. ” University of South Carolina. 08 May 2009 . Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dir. Bob Portway. dvd. BBC Worldwide Television, 2004. Film.