This Side of Paradise This Side of Paradise discussion

did it just end with a big... or is it just me?

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Melissa What happend to poor Amory Blaine? I wanted more at the end, did he just decide to denounce love becuase of Rosalind? Did he decide to pursue a romance with socialist ideals instead?
I do realize that Amory is a self portrait of Fitzgerald...but what happend next?!?

JinSoo Saun I am not sure if you will ever get to read this but anyway—
it is not just you.
But, at the same time, there does not need to be more to make the story complete so it just ends with a period. (SparkNotes says some editions end with a dash but mine is not among them and I support the period.)
The relationship between Rosalind and Amory is very heavy in this book—a whole chapter—and is affecting Amory afterwards to the very end. One chapter out of ten, however, is not enough to be THE story of a book. Ending of their relationship is also clear.
Then, this book is about how there was little comfort in the wise on that side of paradise. Hasn't Fitzgerald DONE his job quite well?
By the way, though I believe now some of your questions are invalid, to answer them; there was Eleanor and read the part right before the big man turns out to be Mr. Ferrenby(or less then ten pages before the book ends).

message 3: by C (new) - rated it 5 stars

C I quite liked the ending. Yes, it was pretty inconclusive but I think it's how it should be. The entire story seemed to be Amory's discovery of the fundamental truths of himself. The culmination of his romances, his successes, his failures, and his beliefs seem to be his acceptance of his own personage.
The big '...' of what happens next is fitting with the last line of "but that is all-". I prefer the dash as it was in the original manuscripts and it shows that Amory's story doesn't just end there. I'd like to think that Amory continues to change and lose then rediscover (rinse and repeat) the fundamental Amory as people do in their lives. The dash also gives me a sense of hesitation as Amory finally surrenders his youth.

Feliks My least favorite Scott Fitzgerald book. Every page filled with gorgeous writing of course; flashing and crackling. But he will take two pages to describe a characters thoughts as he's crossing a hallway. Micro-scopically slow; analytical and poetic to the point where the story couldn't be followed.

Glad I read it but much prefer his other works.

Damasia Paula wrote: "The most important aspect of the book is what Amory learns about himself by the end and so the story is resolved in some ways. I think a lot of the art of the book is in the open ending.

I defini..."

I agree! It was as well my least favorite book o Fitzgerald! Too descriptive, too much of words and it ended just blahh

message 6: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan W. My blog is entitled "Is it against the law to argue?" Usually, I write only what may kindly be described as blunt criticism. Today's post is different, it is unmitigated cheer leading.

Simon and Schuster is reintroducing F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. I do not know why the house is republishing the novel, probably to capitalize on the current Great Gatsby phenomena. Whatever the reason, I'm happy because Fitzgerald is my favorite fiction writer of all time.

Fitzgerald not write novels about great social issues. He does not write novels for men about great men. Rather, Fitzgerald writes serious fiction about the inherent frailty of human relationships between and among men and women in prose that is as smooth as the finest scotch.

Like most everyone else, the first Fitzgerald work I recall reading is the Great Gatsby. I was in seventh grade and missed the point, but I knew I was missing the point. His flowing narration completely overwhelmed all other aspects of the book for me. By the end of college, I had read and reread all of Fitzgerald's published works. Much to my deceased father's chagrin, he would become my favorite novelist.

Most of my male friends prefer Hemingway. More than one says Hemingway is more "macho." I get it, Hemingway is cool, a man's man, and I couldn't care less. My female friends prefer Salinger to other male writers of the 20s to the 50s. I love Salinger but I find his plots juvenile. To paraphrase Norman Mailer, Salinger is the greatest mind never to leave prep school. My personal opinion is, without Fitzgerald, there would be no Jazz in the era of Jazz Age writes.

The past 12 months were some of the most harrowing of my family's life. One of the things that helped me make it through were Fitzgerald's published works. I was fortunate enough to reread all of them and my previous feelings were reconfirmed. For me, his writing is soothing, calming, thought provoking, and encouraging of calm introspection all at once. I am not a spiritual person but Fitzgerald's short stories and novels give me some insight as to how many people I know feel after they read and hear scripture.

Today I am fortunate to learn that Simon and Schuster is reintroducing Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. Paradise is Fitzgerald's first novel, largely autobiographical, and a conventional coming of age story. It also establishes his reputation as a writer with whom we must reckon. Perhaps the most pleasant aspect of Paradise is that it is Fitzgerald's sweetest novel.

With Paradise, we see the full scope and hope of Fitzgerald's vision for American life. It is open and inviting. Gatsby shows the failure of the vision. Tender is the Night is about what we do after we realize the failure of our dreams. The Last Tycoon is about our inevitable decrepitude.

I do not think that Paradise is Fitzgerald's greatest novel, his deepest novel, or his most ambitious novel. My personal feeling is that those achievements belong to Tender is the Night. I am barely able to complete the book without wanting to sit in a closet with a bottle of liquor and cry.
However, Paradise is certainly Fitzgerald's most accessible novel. In particular, it is refreshingly devoid of the excessive self important navel gazing that I find ever present in Gatsby.

For these reasons, I recommend reading This Side of Paradise to everyone whose only experience with Fitzgerald is The Great Gatsby. It may even encourage some you to read more of Fitzgerald's writing. Perhaps, you may even experience some of the sheer spiritual joy I feel when I read his books.

As a disclaimer, I do not recommend anyone to read Tender is the Night until they read Fitzgerald's other publications and decide they like them. Tender is the Night is easily the most emotionally devastating novel I have ever read. If you read it before you are acclimated to the themes Fitzgerald explores you may find yourself with an ulcer.

Henry "With Paradise, we see the full scope and hope of Fitzgerald's vision for American life. It is open and inviting. Gatsby shows the failure of the vision. Tender is the Night is about what we do after we realize the failure of our dreams. The Last Tycoon is about our inevitable decrepitude."

Well said!

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