Literature Help: Novels: Plot Overview 254: The Beautiful and Damned
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The Beautiful and Damned is F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel. It tells the story of a Harvard-educated, aspiring man, Anthony Patch, and his beautiful wife Gloria. As they await the inheritance of his grandfather's fortune, their reckless marriage sways under the influence of alcohol and greed. A devastating look at the nouveau riche and New York nightlife of the roaring 20's. In , when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. As you first see him he wonders frequently whether he is not without honor and slightly mad, a shameful and obscene thinness glistening on the surface of the world like oil on a clean pond, these occasions being varied, of course, with those in which he thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.
Anthony and Gloria are the essence of Jazz Age glamour. A brilliant and magnetic couple, they fling themselves at life with an energy that is thrilling. New York is a playground where they dance and drink for days on end. Their marriage is a passionate theatrical performance; they are young, rich, alive and lovely and they intend to inherit the earth. But as money becomes tight, their marriage becomes impossible. And with their inheritance still distant, Anthony and Gloria must grow up and face reality; they may be beautiful but they are also damned. Stationed in Alabama, he met and later married Zelda Sayre.
In , when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. As you first see him he wonders frequently whether he is not without honor and slightly mad, a shameful and obscene thinness glistening on the surface of the world like oil on a clean pond, these occasions being varied, of course, with those in which he thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows. This was his healthy state and it made him cheerful, pleasant, and very attractive to intelligent men and to all women. In this state he considered that he would one day accomplish some quiet subtle thing that the elect would deem worthy and, passing on, would join the dimmer stars in a nebulous, indeterminate heaven half-way between death and immortality. Until the time came for this effort he would be Anthony Patch — not a portrait of a man but a distinct and dynamic personality, opinionated, contemptuous, functioning from within outward — a man who was aware that there could be no honor and yet had honor, who knew the sophistry of courage and yet was brave. Anthony drew as much consciousness of social security from being the grandson of Adam J.
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned explores many of the same themes and subjects that would animate his later work, including Tender is the Night and The Great Gatsby. This novel delves into the mysteries and complexities of marriage, taking as its focus the relationship of heir and bon vivant Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria, a couple that critics believe reflect many autobiographical elements of the tempestuous bond between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, the artist and flamboyant flapper Zelda. New here? We use this information to create a better experience for all users.
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