5. Style

F. Scott Fitzgerald's style can be described as representative of the times. He is considered one of the foremost authors of literary modernism. Modernism was not only an artistic movement of the twenties and thirties, but a political and philosophical one as well. People had become disenchanted with society in the aftermath of World War I. Fitzgerald's literary style is often compared to that of his close friend, Ernest Hemingway. Both lived in Paris during the same time frame as ex-patriots disillusioned by society. Fitzgerald was complex and contradictive in the way he expressed disdain and endearing regard for the twenties. Two popular works that exemplify his modernist approach are the short story, "Babylon Revisited" and the novel The Great Gatsby. In both stories we read about men and women of the "roaring twenties". In contrast to the saying, "work hard, but party harder"; the characters depicted in these stories haven't worked very hard at all. Fitzgerald writes about a class of people which we refer to as "new money". They have no noble pedigree, or social entitlement, but they place much importance on appearing rich and important. In both works we see Fitzgerald's reverence for the "Jazz age" as well as a bitter criticism of his own errs in this era.

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