The Beautiful and Damned

The Beautiful and Damned explores and portrays New York café society and the American Eastern elite during the Jazz Age before and after “the Great War” and in the early 1920s.As in his other novels, Fitzgerald’s characters in this novel are complex, especially with respect to marriage and intimacy. The work is generally considered to have drawn upon and be based on Fitzgerald’s relationship and marriage with his wife Zelda Fitzgerald.The Beautiful and Damned tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1910s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon’s fortune, and his courtship and relationship with his wife Gloria Gilbert. It describes his brief service in the Army during World War I,his short affair that led to his mental illness, and the couple’s post-war partying life in New York, and his later alcoholism.Gloria and Anthony’s love story is much more than just a couple falling in love. Their story deals with the hardships of a relationship, especially when each character has a tendency to be selfish. Joanna Stolarek suggests, Fitzgerald draws on “Zelda, the object of the writer’s literary passion”.

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