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This Side of Paradise

386 pages5 hours


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel explores many of the same themes as The Great Gatsby -- love, wealth, and disillusionment -- but in a more varied style, incorporating letters and poems into the narrative. Protagonist Armory Blaine, an unmotivated student at Princeton enlists for service in World War I. When he returns to the States, he finds that his mother has passed away, and left him little money. He falls in love with a beautiful society girl, Rosalind, and tries to earn her hand in marriage working for an advertising agency; but she refuses him for a wealthier man. Devastated, Armory drinks until Prohibition cuts him off, and then takes to wandering. Ending with the famous line, “I know myself, but that is all--,” Fitzgerald foresees a century of youthful angst with his first work of fiction.

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