F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of “Babylon Revisited” (1931), is regarded by many as “the spokesman of the post—World War I ‘jazz age’ generation” CITATION rob \p 365 \l 1033 (DiYanni 365). Of his many short stories, several embodied a loosely based self-reflection of his own personal life experiences leading up to the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the depression that followed CITATION Lin \l 1033 (Goldberg). In “Babylon Revisited,” he writes a sentimental short story highlighting the consequences of an irresponsible and self-indulgent lifestyle, typical of that era. Although some may agree that the theme of “Babylon Revisited” flirts with the atonements of one’s sins, Fitzgerald weaves an emotional exchange of dialogue that solidifies the idea that we may not be able to escape from our past, but we don’t have to let it define the outcome of our future. Fitzgerald begins by identifying the main character, Charlie J. Whales—widower and father—who has returned to Paris, the city of his debaucherous past, to see his daughter, Honoria. It is interesting to observe how Fitzgerald correlates Paris then, to the ancient biblical city of Babylon in the title of the story; for this city was also known for its extravagance and sin. The story begins with a brief present tense exposition and quickly transitions to an outline establishing a timeline in relation to Charlie’s past. Fitzgerald describes a setting in the early 1930’s where Charlie’s financial losses in the stock market crash are over shadowed by his family losses in the boom CITATION rob \p 378 \l 1033 (DiYanni 378). What was once a life beaming with laughter and the hustle of a boom town, the places Charlie remembers are abandoned and devoid of everything but silence and depression. As Charlie’s previous life is recounted, his inability to escape such a past is substantiated by his struggles with alcoholism, and his inadequacies as a husband and father. At every turn in Charlie’s...
Bibliography: l 1033 DiYanni, Robert. "Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama - 2nd ed." DiYanni, Robert. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama - 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008, 2004. 365-378.
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Goldberg, Lina. F. Scott Fitzgerald 's 'Babylon Revisited ' Revisited. February 2006. 10 October
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