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Fitzgerald's View Of Wealth In Life

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Fitzgerald's View Of Wealth In Life by Cristina Nuta -

A few short years before he died, Scott Fitzgerald remarked that he had at last given up the idea by which he had lived his life. He described this idea as 'the old dream of being an entire man in the Goethe-Byron-Shaw tradition, with an opulent American touch'. Feeling this way, he inevitably looked for the realization of his inner vision of the possibilities of life; and it seemed self-evident to him that only the rich and successful people in any society have the means and therefore the opportunity to make of life what it is possible for others to imagine its being.

As a result of looking at the life he knew in this way, he gradually developed a subtle and fascinating perception of the immensely complex relations between ability that makes it possible fo r a man to get to the top in a competitive society and the ability that equips a man to conceive the Good Life, between the talent for accumulation and the gift of imagination. The gift of imagination was vital in his conception; no man could visualize the Good Life without it. But wealth, he saw, was important too- not for itself, but because wealth alone makes it possible for a man actually to live the life the imagination conceives.

Fitzgerald once said: "the rich are different from you and me". For the rich who made the most of their unique opportunity to live the life of virtue with the maximum imaginative intensity, Fitzgerald felt something like hero-worship. For the merely rich, those who did not use their wealth as a means to such a life, he felt the utmost contempt, when he once referred to as 'the smouldering hatred of the peasant'. He was convinced that the most important moral choice a man could face existed in its most fully developed form among the rich-the real, achievable choice between fineness of perception and of moral discrimination on the one hand, and the brutality of unimaginative, irresponsible power on the other. That is why he thought the rich are different from you and I and why he thought any failure on their part to use their wealth well constituted a crime that you and I are never given an opportunity to commit.

It was this crime for which he condemned Daisy and Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. 'They were two careless people, Tom and Daisy,' Nick Carroway says,'- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made'. It is a great tribute to Fitzgerald's imagination that, despite his disapproval of such people, he understood them.

Fitzgerald's View Of Wealth In Life written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: scott fitzgerald, view, wealth, life



Category: Entertainment  - ( Entertainment Archive)

Date Added: 15 February '07


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