'Fled is that music': The romantic vision of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 09:00 by Richard H. Gould
This study consists of a systematic study of the romantic themes used by F. Scott Fitzgerald throughout his works. Although reference is occasionally made to other romantic influences, the central emphasis is that of the influence of the major English Romantic poets-Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. This influence ranges from direct quotation to direct and indirect allusion, as well as to implicit and at times unconscious inference. The major themes examined are as follows: The youthful dream of an imaginative paradise The inability of reality to live up to the imaginative conception of it The beautiful lady without mercy The pormanence of art set against the mutability of actual existence The painful consequences of an overextension of the imagination The thirst for sensation rather than thought those themes are examined in relation to the author's major works so as to show the thematic unity and progressive development throughout. The emphasis here is upon the novels, although individual stories are discussed when they shed additional light on the theme or themes being discussed at any given point. Similarly, the autobiographical writings and aspects of the author's life are discussed only when they have a particular significance with relation to the themes being examined. Section by section, the thesis is broken down as follows: I. 'A High Romance': (The historical interpretation of what is meant by 'romantic' in literature, as well as a discussion of Fitzgerald's own attitude to the term in an aesthetic context.) II. Of Clocks and Calendars: (Fitzgerald's romantic sense of time throughout the works.) III. The Romantic Egotist In Search of Paradise: (The inability to actualize the youthful dream of paradise in real life.) IV. The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy: (The belle dame or femme fatale qualities of women in the early novels and stories.) V. 'Beyond the Shadow of a Dream': (A detailed study of the multiplicity of romantic themes in The Great Gatsby, and the interrelation of these with the other works.) VI. The queen Moon" (A study of the psychological and emotional consequences of an overextension of the imagination.).