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Did Hemingway Copy Fitzgerald?

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message 1: by Monty J (last edited Jan 16, 2014 09:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monty J Heying The strong parallels between The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises piques my curiosity. Both are stories about hedonistic misbehaving Americans in the post-WWI era and both are narrated by young men whose lives are thrown sideways by men's obsession over a beautiful unprincipled woman having sex outside of marriage, a major tabu of that early post-Victorian era. Both portray a dark side of the upper-class, showing decadence and depravity. Both reflect anti-semitism and take mild shots at the British. Both narrators are transformed, having wised up to their own gullibility.

"Isn't it pretty to think so," Jake says to Brett in TSAR after she implies that they could have had fun together.

"They're a rotten crowd," Nick shouted to Gatsby. "You're worth the whole damn bunch put together."


Given the close relationship between Hemingway and Fitzgerald and the timing of publication of the two books--TSAR coming a year after TGG--one could get the impression that Hemingway modeled his debu novel after the more senior Fitzgerald's third, TGG.

The books were seen differently by the literary world. TGG was labeled as a chronicle of "the Lost Generation" and TSAR as "a cautionary tale of the decadent downside of the American dream," but the subject matter of corruption and decadent behavior was very similar, just a different setting, TGG in New York and TSAR in Paris and Pamplona.


Marci I just want to add that the entire generation of American writers living in Paris, that fabled "Lost Generation" did share this disgust with what had become the American dream.

The similarities probably stem from this common root in the authors lives, but I agree with R.M. there are some distinctions to note.


Christine Z Mason They are both wonderful books, but The Great Gatsby is such a brilliant novel that I woudn't be surprised if it was an influence in Hemingway's writing.


Karen The Great Gatsby is my favorite book, flawless. And you are probably right. I do know that Hemmingway was in awe of Fitzgerald.


James I wouldn't say that Hemingway was influenced by Fitzgerald to the extent you suggest. Instead, I'd suggest that Hemingway made Fitzgerald into one of his main characters in TSAR (that is, Robert Cohn). If you look at the similarities between the character and the life of Fitzgerald it is hard to claim otherwise. This may explain the overlap between Gatsby and TSAR.


Gabriel Martins They were great friends, probably influenced each other, because we are always influences with the people we are in contact with.

Fitzgerald read the sun also rises before publication and made suggestions to Hemingway and probably vice-versa in other books.

There's no copy here, just two lifes that share interests and beliefs.


message 7: by Monty J (last edited Dec 03, 2013 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monty J Heying James wrote: "...Hemingway made Fitzgerald into one of his main characters in TSAR (that is, Robert Cohn)."

I had the same feeling.

Given that TSAR is a roman a clef novel, the Cohn may be based on someone else, but Hemingway perhaps gave Cohn some of Fitzgerald's traits and personal history to disguise him. I'll do a bit of research and report back what I find.


Rebecca Hill I have a feeling that he probably did. There are many records stating how much Hemmingway admired Fiztgerald. Equally 'The Great Gatsby' and 'The sun also rises' have so many similarities. So yeah he did copy him in essance.


message 9: by Feliks (last edited Jan 14, 2014 10:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks My impression was that Hemingway admired people 'for people' but never felt that any other writer had any other better technique than that which he had gravitated towards. That was his god. It was a yardstick by which he measured everything: authors and men. He really wanted truthfulness in everything. FSF was a kind of guy whom he appreciated for that quality; (acumen & integrity both) but probably hated that the same man was also highly complex, cultured, feeble, and artificial.


Cherryl Northcutt Valdez Interesting. I have never read TSAR, but you have peaked my interest. Now I feel I have to read it to see if they do resemble one another.


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