This Side of Paradise charts the life of Amory Blaine, an ambitious young man loosely based on Fitzgerald himself, as he moves from his well-heeled Midwest home to study at Princeton and then starts frequenting the circles of high society as an aspiring writer. Experiencing failure and frustration in love and in his career, Blaine finds his ...
This Side of Paradise charts the life of Amory Blaine, an ambitious young man loosely based on Fitzgerald himself, as he moves from his well-heeled Midwest home to study at Princeton and then starts frequenting the circles of high society as an aspiring writer. Experiencing failure and frustration in love and in his career, Blaine finds his youthful enthusiasm gradually giving way to disillusionment, cynicism and a life of dissolution.
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This novel is excellent for Fitzgerald's first and it exerts an aura of beauty. It's language is very beautiful and colorful, very far from achromatic. I'd call it a "glitter" book. I was a bit surprised to find people of color in the book, however, they were simply a part of the scenery, the same level as an adjective almost, which is expected since it WAS written in the 1920's. The main character is likeable, yet complex. Romantic egotist is the perfect description of him. It seems as if he wants to acquire all the knowledge he can, but never seems to be satisfied with any aspect of life. If one were to think deeply on this concept, this book is rather depressing. Though this is my first Fitzgerald book, it is definitely not my last.
Jul 8, 2007
The Romantic Egotist
F. 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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