F. Scott Fitzgerald: Writing Under the Influence of Europe

Tim Xu


As one of the notable figures in 20th Century American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald has been studied widely by authors, critics, and historians alike. This paper addresses the role of Fitzgerald's time abroad in creating the inspiration for his work as well as Europe's part in catalyzing his eventual decline in the public eye. As a member of the so-called "Lost Generation" of American writers who took up residence in Paris during the 1920s, Fitzgerald was profoundly influenced by his peers, notably Ernest Hemingway. Another guiding factor in Fitzgerald's writing was the presence of Zelda, Fitzgerald's wife, whose mental illness placed both an emotional and financial strain on Fitzgerald. This paper examines the ups and downs of Fitzgerald's life while incorporating the analysis of several of his Europe-inspired works, including his last completed novel Tender is the Night and his famed short story "Babylon Revisited." Fitzgerald's life and work support the claim that Europe was fundamentally a double-edged sword - while Europe provided the thrilling lifestyle that fueled Fitzgerald's writing and widespread notoriety, it also brought about his ultimate disintegration.


F. Scott Fitzgerald; Europe; Tender is the Night

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v5i0.2811

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