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The Romantic Egotist
by nwiley on July 8, 2007F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first published novel, This Side of Paradise, masterfully illustrates his ability at a young age to combine fiction with reality within a novel. Although, the novel is loosely based upon Fitzgerald’s own life leading up to and after his time at Princeton University, the novel also contains some of the earliest evidence of Fitzgerald’s ability to write good fiction. The novel tells the story of Amory Blaine coming of age in the roaring twenties. Amory struggles with the trials and tribulations of first love, social, financial and educational status. While the novel chronicles Amory’s education and career, it truly captures the essence of “young love”, by focusing heavily on Blaine’s numerous love interests. While the novel seems to wander at times, it is only because the novel is a combination of Fitzgerald’s previous short stories and poems. This being Fitzgerald’s first major novel, This Side of Paradise, contains certain elements of rawness and innocence that Fitzgerald’s later works are missing. These elements can also be attested to the age at which he wrote this story, and his own innocence. This novel came before Fitzgerald’s rise and ultimate fall, which affected his later work greatly. This Side of Paradise, is a true literary masterpiece which rings true on so many levels of human experience.
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