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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
Other Writers Influenced by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Fitzgerald's Influence
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Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

        Ernest Hemingway saw violence and death first-hand as an ambulance driver in World War I, and the senseless carnage persuaded him that abstract language was mostly empty and misleading. He cut out unnecessary words from his writing, simplified the sentence structure, and concentrated on concrete objects and actions. He adhered to a moral code that emphasized courage under pressure, and his protagonists were strong, silent men who often dealt awkwardly with women.

        The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms are generally considered his best novels; he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Both Fitzgerald and Hemingway expressed the disillusionment following upon the war. They capture the restless, pleasure-hungry, defiant mood of the 1920s.

Kenneth Millar (pen name Ross Macdonald):

        Millar is considered to have similar writing styles as F. Scott Fitzgerald. In Schopen's The Black Money, the novel is a result of MacDonald's long meditations on the themes and patterns of action in the book that he said he read annually, The Great Gatsby. Schopen's comment suggests that the connection between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kenneth Millar has been thoroughly explored.

        It has not. Several of Millar's critics have briefly mentioned that he was influenced by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and they have noted the similarities between Jay Gatsby and Pedro Domingo, the Panamanian-born character in The Black Money who dreams of remaking himself and focuses his dreams on marrying a wealthy American girl. The analysis of Fitzgerald's influence on Millar has not gone beyond this point.

        Schopen refers to Fitzgerald as his "dream writer" and "finest novelist." He is admired that The Great Gatsby focuses on American idealism by American greed and the struggle for the soul of America by opposing forcesoidealism on one hand and money power on idealism. On another copy of his work The Portable F. Scott Fitzgerald shows the major influence of Fitzgerald and the ways that Millar learned from him, calling him "my master" and the ways that he taught him to write.

        Both writers were fascinated with ambition, wealth, and the concerns focused on their fiction work. Both Fitzgerald and Millar grew up in the same economic situation and same family environment, this also influencing Millar's work. Both Millar and Fitzgerald were autobiographical writers: their best work relied upon their dealing with personal material and coming to terms with their past experiences. Writing about the past helped them understand it. As a result of their backgrounds, the two writers shared common materials and concerns in their fiction: ambition, the American Dream, and efforts to reshape oneself; the influence of the past; and, wealth and its effects on individuals.

        In dealing with these issues, both possessed a type of double-vision, simultaneously involved in and detached from the world about which they wrote. The double-vision interpretation of Fitzgerald's sensibility was first proposed by Malcolm Cowley in his New Republic review of Tender Is the Night (1934).

Period 6 English World Literature Author