Carolina Day School

Honors Papers 2021-22

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Campbell 1 Meg Campbell Sims Honors American Lit 9 November 2020 The Indolent and the Vain Many things can ruin a marriage, but money is one of the most prevalent reasons. Marriage requires a partnership emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. When a couple cannot handle those pressures anymore, love becomes secondary to survival and eventually lost. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned is the perfect example of a couple losing everything they felt for one another over money issues. They lived during the Jazz Age, where everything was fast, flashy, and covered in booze. It was the golden age of glamor tied in with the idea of living a hedonistic lifestyle. Hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure and the act of self-indulgence, was something everyone wanted, or, at least, wanted to look like it. Anthony and Gloria Patch crave the image of luxury without putting in any work to achieve it for themselves. Fitzgerald himself rose to fame during the 1920s, and while The Beautiful and Damned was not as popular as some of his other titles, it shows the dangers that lurked on the edge of the gilded lifestyle. Fitzgerald himself was "most commonly recognized only as an extravagant drunk, who epitomized the excesses of the Jazz Age" (Willet). That description also fits Anthony Patch, a man who wishes to thrive, even if it means he cannot survive. It seems peculiar that Fitzgerald would write a character, so like himself; it may serve as a warning to his younger self about the hazards of hedonism. Even though The Beautiful and Damned may only

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