Research paper: The Disenchanted
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life and work were in a knot from the start; his profession spanned one of the most tumultuous eras of the century, and from the very start he was the creator and the victim of the new culture of celebrity which accompanied the rise of modern technology. Budd Schulberg masterfully created a character that closely and in many ways represents Fitzgerald in his later years; Manley Halliday is that character. “His mind’s eye, incurably bifocal, could never stop searching for the fairy-tale maiden who made his young manhood a time of bewitchment, when springtime was the only season and the days revolved on a lovers’ spectrum of sunlight, twilight, candlelight and dawn.”[Ch.10]. Fitzgerald had an interesting relationship with his beautiful wife Zelda Fitzgerald, in the novel Halliday’s was a flapper named Jere. Much of the novel’s center core is an up and close view covering the couple’s interactions, behavior, parties, and a lot of screw ups that do not shy away from Fitzgerads’ very own. Not only is there a connection between Halliday’s Jere but The Disenchanted introduced the subject of glamorized failure, in the scene when Manley Halliday is dying and thinks, “Take it from me, baby, in America nothing fails like success” [Ch. Slow Dissolve] he indeed, is the American failure. Manley Halliday is the perfect thinly disguised Fitzgerald, Schulberg cleverly hides this although in chapter 2 he writes “"Twenty years from now, if we can keep improving our prod¬uct as much as we have since the War, the Hemingways, Fitz¬geralds, the Wolfes and the Hallidays will start out as screen¬play writers instead of novelists. Wait and see if I’m not right, Shep. The great American writing of the future will be done directly for the screen." [Ch. 2]. The parallel between Fitzgerald and Halliday continues, Halliday sees himself as a professional just as Fitzgerald has his whole life. In the book Shep’s impressed, but unsure, for “it was much too good for what they needed. But for what they needed, not good enough.” [Ch.12]. unfortunately for them when they finally reach Webster, Halliday is “too stupefied to tell day from night, gin from vodka, and love from hate.” [Ch. Old Business III]“Manley was drunk and he was a spectacle. But they seemed glad this had happened to him. That is what galled.” (Ch. 18). The 1920’s and 1930’s have a lot under their hood, the following is a socio-cultural portrait/comparison of what the 20’s and 30’s were all about. “T.S Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry.” [ww.nobelprize.org]. Just like T.S Eliot, Erza Pound had a major contribution to the poetry world. “Of all the major literary figures in the twentieth century, Ezra Pound has been one of the most controversial; he has also been one of modern poetry's most important contributors.” [www.poetryfoundation.org]. E.E Cummings is amongst these famous poets as well and was regarded as “Among the most innovative of twentieth-century poets" [www.poetryfoundation.org]. Furthermore, the following are novels/books that demonstrated the life in the 20’s. An American Tragedy published in the 20’s, follows the life of Clyde Griffiths from late childhood to his infamous death. Arrowsmith is the story of a Martin Arrowsmith as he makes his way from a small town in the Midwest to the higher status of the scientific community. Manhattan Transfer is about the development of urban life in New York City from the Gilded Age to the Jazz Age while The Great Gatsby is the story of J Gatsby the mysterious millionaire who has a keen eye for a certain lady. Furthermore, these poets and books have a distinct camaraderie that can...
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