F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great American Dreamer part 4
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Uploaded on Oct 21, 2009
This documentary on the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald is informative and a valuable resource for an introduction to the author or his works. This biography not only gives insight into Fitzgerald's life, but also gives some background into what was the roaring 20s. The documentary delves into Fitzgerald's early years, as young Fitzgerald wanted to make something of himself after seeing his father struggle after losing his job. Francis was able to use his gifted ability as a writer to gain acceptance as an outsider in school, and then progress into his work as an author. He met up with his "golden girl", Zelda, and, after they married, their lives became the symbol of the time period.
Many of Fitzgerald's novels are chronicled, and it is interesting how many characters and events within these novels were based upon the author's life. It captures the many setbacks that Fitzgerald faced during the years with Zelda, who battled with schizophrenia a good deal of their marriage, and eventually how Zelda spent her remaining years in an asylum. This documentary evidences how both Fitzgerald and Zelda influenced the Jazz Era with their extravagant lifestyle and life of excess. It gives a brief account of the Lost Generation, and the friendship and rivalry Fitzgerald experienced with Hemingway. One unique element that Fitzgerald possessed was his perfectionist-like nature, as he spent painstaking amounts of time editing and revising draft after draft of his works. Although Fitzgerald's writing fizzled out shortly after his death in 1940 from a massive heart attack, it reemerged in the 50s and 60s and he became the icon he is today.
This is a great synopsis of Fitzgerald's life, and while it focuses much on the negative aspects of his life such as drinking and reckless behavior, ultimately it gives great insight into the genius of the author as a craftsman. One word of caution for instructors who are reading The Great Gatsby, however. There is a short summary of The Great Gatsby, and a spoiler is included for the ending. You may want to skip over this brief part, which is about 2 minutes, if you are reading this novel.
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