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F. Scott Fitzgerald was a man who rode a roller coaster of a life. Much like his book, The Great Gatsby. Over his lifetime, Fitzgerald wrote many influential books. Some of his books were about things in his life, others were about social issues. It is only after Fitzgerald died though, that most of his works rose to fame. Born on September 24, 1896, Fitzgerald grew up in an upper-middle class family with a gentleman father and Irish mother. Before He was born, two of his sisters died. Fitzgerald says that he thinks this is what prompted Him to become a writer. His early childhood was spent in Buffalo, New York and occasionally in West Virginia. His parents, both Catholic, sent him him to two Catholic schools over his early schooling. It was here that His early intelligence and love for literature shown through. At home, his doting mother ensured that Fitzgerald had all the advantages of being brought up in a middle-class home. An inheritance from his mom’s side of the family let the Fitzgerald family live a comfortable life. When his father was fired from his job, the family moved to Minnesota where Fitzgerald enrolled in St. Paul Academy. When he was just 13 his first piece of writing was published in the school newspaper. At 15 his parents switched him to a prestigious Catholic prep school where he played on the football team. An elder at the school saw his literary talent and encouraged him to pursue it. After graduating, Fitzgerald attended Princeton University where he was able to pursue his literary and artistic passion. At Princeton, Fitzgerald threw himself into getting his name around and meeting other future writers and critics. Fitzgerald wrote for Princeton Triangle Club, Nassau Lit, and the Princeton Tiger. Through His connection with the Triangle Club, Fitzgerald submitted a novel to a publishing company where the editor praised but ended up rejecting the book. The toll of all his writing pursuits was an academic problem. He ended up dropping out of Princeton to enlist in the Army.In the winter of 1917, Fitzgerald was stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Here he was a student of Dwight Eisenhower whom he disliked. At the fort, Fitzgerald was worried that he might die in combat before he ever fulfilled his literary dreams. He then hastily wrote The Romantic Egoist. Submitting it to the same publisher as his previous work, they still turned it down but gave the book encouraging comments. After getting out of the Army he settled in New York to find work. He hoped to convince a woman named Zelda Sayre, who he met in the Army, to marry him. She accepted his proposal but then turned it down after finding out he didn’t have enough money to support her. After this, Fitzgerald returned to live with his parents while he worked on revising The Romantic Egoist. He turned it into a semi-biography of his undergraduate years at Princeton. The editors instantly liked it and the book rocketed to fame. From this steady income, he convinced Zelda to return to him. Their marriage completed, their child, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, was born. In the 1920s, Fitzgerald made many trips to Europe, especially Paris. Paris proved to be one of the most influential places in literary work. He also made a few friends. One of his friends, Ernest Hemingway, who was instantly disliked by Zelda, said that she encouraged her husband to drink heavily, thus distracting him from his passion. Hemingway claimed that Zelda wanted Fitzgerald to just write short stories for magazines which supported her lifestyle. This was because Fitzgerald’s first novel sold well enough to put the two of them as New York celebrities. Because of this lifestyle, Fitzgerald was constantly in debt, stuck with Zelda’s medical bills and not generating enough income for everything. His masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, didn’t become popular until after his death. As he began his fourth novel, Zelda was hit with Schizophrenia. She was hospitalized and Fitzgerald rented a place near the hospital to work on his next work. Because of all the financial trouble, his extravagant life, Zelda’s condition, and lack of success writing, he slipped into alcohol. His work about the rise and fall of character Dick Diver, was explained by some critics to be a autobiography of Fitzgerald’s own troubles. Zelda, with her own ideas, sent a piece she wrote about her and Fitzgerald’s life together, to the publishing company. Unhappy with this, Fitzgerald called the story back and rewrote parts of it. Angry that Zelda was trying to write about their life, he convinced the doctors not to let her write any more regarding him or their life together. His next novel, Tender is the Night, was supposed to be a follow up to The Great Gatsby. Critics had waited a long time for this novel and were disappointed when it’s three-part structure was difficult to comprehend. The novel did not sell well apon being published. In 1926, Fitzgerald was invited to Hollywood to write short comedies. Over their time in Hollywood, Zelda grew worse. Fitzgerald became for and more of an alcoholic and didn’t do well. He began to work on his final novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon. He was treated by a New York physician for being an alcoholic. Ever since collage, Fitzgerald had been known as a heavy drinker. It seems as if it finally caught up with him in the late 1930s. Fitzgerald claims he contracted tuberculosis which eventually lead to his death. He did in fact have tuberculosis but it subsided in the late 1920s. Although it did leave him with esophageal varices. He suffered dizzy spells on and off. This led to his first heart attack, which after it happened his doctor told him to avoid strenuous activities. The problem was that Fitzgerald’s apartment was on the second floor, with two flights of stairs to reach it. He went to the theater with a friend and when he got home he said he was having dizzy spells again. The following day, he was eating a candy bar in his friend’s house when he suddenly, jumped up and suffered a fatal heart attack. Even though he was only 44, he died in a worn out body. At his funeral, was his only son, his editor, and 20-40 other people. His family requested he be buried in a Catholic cemetery but the church refused. Fitzgerald ended up being buried at Rockville Union Cemetery. Zelda died in 1948 in a fire which consumed the mental hospital where she was a patient. F. Scott Fitzgerald died before he could finish his last work, The Love of the Last Tycoon. His friend and critic Edmund Wilson finished for him. It was only after his death that The Great Gatsby grew to fame we know it in now. As a funny conclusion, in 2015 a man found a 8000 word manuscript lost in the Princeton archives. This was a short story by Fitzgerald about a man who lived in LA. The story describes his failures, rise, illness, fall, and death. The man’s character is a that of Fitzgerald’s. A self-destructive, alcoholic who seems like a popular outstanding figure. In the story, Fitzgerald expressly states no reference to a living person was made. On a closing note, Fitzgerald’s life was like a cheap roller coaster, always breaking, clatering, bumping along, and always leaving the rider feeling elated but, short changed. This is how I imaging Fitzgerald felt in his last days, pleased with his accomplishments but always lacking contentment with his life.

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