Thesis Statement: Fitzgerald’s life shows through in all aspects of his work, such is the case in The Great Gatsby. He uses his life to create people and places throughout the book.
Fitzgerald’s life shows through in all of his work, such is the case in The Great Gatsby.
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He uses his life to create people and places. Fitzgerald used his own experiences for this novel; he spent time on Great Neck, Long Island in 1923. There he met some of the sketchier people from New York. He met everyone from bootleggers to hit men, he met Arnold Rothstein the man who allegedly fixed the world’s series in 1919.
Fitzgerald used many different real-life people to build up his characters James Gats and Jay Gatsby for his book. He used his own life as a model for James Gats both of their fathers were failures. They vowed early in life to be successful and prosperous (A+E Biography).
Fitzgerald used not only himself but also people he met and some he knew. His Great Neck neighbour and friend Robert Kerri shared stories of his boyhood. Which later became part of Jay GATT’s life story. Bob Kerri when he was 15, boated out to a Major Edwin Glimmer’s yacht in Shapes Head Bay, He told him that the tides would break up his yacht. Major Gilman then gave Kerr a job for 3 years. These years were the last three of his life. Gilman was then a model for Dan Cody. He had a mistress named Ella Kaye she was modelled after Nellie Bly who were both newspaper reporters, it was whispered that she had “helped” in the death of Major Gilman (Tate 95).
Another Great Neck neighbour who became a model was one of New York’s shadier people, Edward Fuller who was a bond bucket like Jay Gatsby. There was the same friendship between Gatsby and Wolfsheim that existed with Rothstein and Fuller (Lehan Limits 55).
Fitzgerald even used real-life people’s personalities and speech. In The Great Gatsby he used Max Gerlach as Gatsby, Gerlach was a rich bootlegger from Great Neck. In a letter to Fitzgerald, he uses the saying old sport which Gatsby uses continuously (Bruccoli, Granduer 183).
The parties on the Great Neck were a symbol of the twenties. The parties that Gatsby had were modelled after real parties held by Herbert Bayard Swope. He had huge 24-hour parties, where people he had never met came, ate his food and drank his “beverages.” This is where Fitzgerald meets Allan Dwan the Director and Gloria Swanson the actress ( Bruccoli Granduer 185).
Gatsby wasn’t the only person who had real-life models. He used his own love to make the love in the novel. His first love Ginevra King was used to making up Daisy Fay Buchanon. She was Fitzgerald’s true love who never married him for lack of money. Just like Daisy and Gatsby in the book (A+E Biography).
Another of Fitzgerald’s loves was Zelda Sayre the woman he married. Zelda said that the best thing to have in this world for a child was a beautiful little fool. Daisy said these words in the novel when telling Fitzgerald about the birth of her daughter. Both Daisy and Zelda met Gatsby and Fitzgerlad when the guys were soldiers During WWI (A+E Biography).
Arnold Rothstein the man who was said to have fixed the 1919 world’s series was Meyer Wolfsheim in the book. They both had the same connections and were involved in the same illegal activities. They had the same connections with Gatsby and Fuller. They were both too smart to be caught by the police (Lehan, Limits 52).
In the book, Tom Buchanon had the same personality as Ginever King’s father Charles King. He was always making himself out to be above people, the same way Tom was above Gatsby. They both had a string of polo ponies, and both went to Yale. They had the same background in wealth as well, their families were rich bankers from Chicago (Lehan Limits 70).
Tom was also modelled after William Mitchell. He too owned polo ponies and was “The current catch in Chicago”. His Family was also a rich family from Chicago. Another man was Tommy Hitchcock a wealthy Great Neck polo player.
The last character is Jordan Baker she is modelled after one of Ginevre’s close friends Edith Cummings. Who was a well-known golfer and shared the same relationship as Daisy and Jordan in the book?
This shows the use of real-life characters in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel The Great Gutsy. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote many other books in which he drew from his own life experiences and acquaintances.
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