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The Diamond As Big As the Ritz" and Other Stories

By the time the family returned to St. Paul, Fitzgerald was twelve years old, and his parents enrolled him at St. Paul Academy. At St. Paul Academy, he wrote stories for the school magazine and performed in school plays. One of the most significant results of Fitzgerald's military service was that, while stationed in Alabama, he fell in love with Zelda Sayre, the daughter of a judge on the Alabama 3. A week later he married Zelda Sayre.

That same year, Fitzgerald's first collection of short stories was published, entitled Flappers and Philosophers. These two books established Fitzgerald's reputation as the official chronicler of the Jazz Age, the name used for the s. He was especially known for his stories featuring flappers, young women exploring the new social and fashion freedoms and rebelling against the restrictive mores of the past. In , the couple spent time in France, where Fitzgerald wrote his best-known novel, The Great Gatsby However, his collection of stories, All the Sad Young Men, garnered favorable reviews, though it did little to improve the Fitzgeralds' financial situation.

Despite mounting debt, the couple lived extravagantly, much like the characters in Fitzgerald's fiction. In , Zelda suffered a complete mental collapse and 5. At the time of its release, critics were not fond of the book, feeling that it was a less successful treatment of the same themes explored in The Great Gatsby. In , Fitzgerald published a collection of short stories entitled Taps at Reveille, which was reviewed by few critics.

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Fitzgerald was aware of the decline of his work and wrote a series of essays on his own emotional decline as an artist, published in Esquire magazine. While working in the film industry, he began writing a novel set in Hollywood, to be titled The Last Tycoon. Before he could finish the book, however, Fitzgerald died suddenly of a heart attack on December 21, The unfinished novel was published posthumously in He was survived by his wife Zelda, who died in a hospital fire in , and his daughter Scottie, who died in Unger John is the protagonist of the story.

He was born and raised in Hades and is some-what embarrassed by his birthplace. He loves material goods and works to impress others because of it. As he states to Percy, "The richer a fella is, the better I like him. He is not entirely self- motivated, as he may appear at first. In fact, he has a kind heart. He is appalled at the Washingtons for their lack of sensitivity for other humans and when saving himself at the end, he also saves Kismine and Jasmine, without a second thought. Percy Washington He is the elusive friend of John, who invites John to his home for the summer, fully aware that John will have to die.

This proves his selfishness as well as his disregard for human life, as he would rather let John die than be without a friend for the summer. He is conceited, insensitive, and is obsessed with wealth. I've got quite a collection of them myself," he proudly informs John.

He even refers to his limo as "old junk used for a station wagon. Braddock Washington establishes himself as the antagonist early upon meeting him. Percy's father and the richest man in the world, he stumbles upon a diamond the size of an entire mountain and goes to great lengths to protect his wealth. He has captivated slaves, "darkies," to mine the diamond, and even has aircraft guns to protect the mine. He has complete disregard for the human race, and anyone that comes to his home is locked in a cage in the ground or promptly killed.

Even when his end is near, he tries to bribe God with a diamond, even though it is the diamonds that have caused his destruction. Kismine Washington She is Percy's younger sister who falls in love with John. Because of her love for John, she warns him of his upcoming death and says that she is "sorry that John will have to be put away. She is very naive of the common world and even death.

Although she hasn't invited any "guests" to stay at the house yet, she believes that she will "harden up to it. She states that she would much rather have rhinestones than diamonds, because she was "getting a little tired of diamonds. She casually states to John, "Think of the millions and millions of people in the world, labourers and all, who get along with only two maids.

The readers do not learn too much about her except that she is also very "hardened" by the wealth.

She thinks little of inviting friends to her home, knowing fully that they will be murdered at the end of their stay. However, she is selfish and would rather have their company for the summer before they are murdered, than be without friends. The Prisoners Underneath his all-green golf course, Braddock Washington has imprisoned two dozen aviators who had the misfortune to discover his property.

They are a spirited bunch, shouting curses and defiant insults at Washington when he stops by for a visit but also trying to talk him into releasing them. When they hear that one of their number managed to escape, they dance and sing in celebration. Unger, a teenager from the town of Hades, Mississippi, who was sent to a private boarding school in Boston. During the summer he would visit the homes of his classmates, the vast majority of whom were from wealthy families. He would speak only to Unger, and then very rarely, but invited him for the summer to his home, the location of which he would only state as being "in the West", an invitation Unger accepted.

His grandfather, Fitz-Norman Culpepper Washington, decided to leave Virginia and head west with his slaves to enter the sheep and cattle ranching business. However, on his claim he discovered not only a diamond mine, but a mountain consisting of one solid diamond. By all accounts he would be the richest man ever to live — however, the sheer quantity of diamonds would drive their value to virtually nothing.

Washington travels the world selling only a few diamonds at a time, in order to avoid flooding the market, but enough to give him enormous wealth.

The Diamond as Big as the Ritz - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Literary Roadhouse Ep

Airmen who stray into the area are captured and kept in a dungeon. The sides of mountains were covered with trees, the banks of the brooks were diversified with flowers; every blast shook spices from the rocks, and every month dropped fruits upon the ground.

All animals that bite the grass or browse the shrubs, whether wild or tame, wandered in this extensive circuit, secured from beasts of prey by the mountains which confined them. The whole valley, from the diamond mountain to the steep granite cliff five miles away, still gave off a breath of golden haze which hovered idly above the fine sweep of lawns and lakes and gardens. Here and there clusters of elms made delicate groves of shade, contrasting strangely with the tough masses of pine forest that held the hills in a grip of dark-blue green.

Even as John looked he saw three fawns in single file patter out from one clump about half a mile away and disappear with awkward gaiety into the black-ribbed half-light of another. It seems like an exercise you might set a Creative Writing class. Start from the best that nature can offer, and allow yourself unlimited cash to improve it. Rasselas, an intelligent and sensitive youth, has tired of his life of ease, and longs to escape to the real world. He finds a comrade in his tutor, the poet Imlac, who ironically enough enlisted to come to the Happy Valley because he was sick of the world and thought that retreat and boundless luxury would cure him of it.

But when Rasselas presses him on this he admits he would rather be out there than in here. They visit Egypt to see the pyramids, rock up at various courts to enjoy the hospitality of their rulers, and converse with a variety of gurus, hermits and astronomers. In between this the three of them sit around and bash all these ideas around: much of what we read comes across as a semi-Platonic colloquy — intelligent, rather dry, but never stilted or confusing.

In fact, it is highly epigrammatic, and the book has been held in high esteem as a source of great wisdom. I see no danger that the present generation should omit to leave successors behind them; we are not inquiring for the world, but for ourselves. Those conditions which flatter hope and attract desire are so constituted that as we approach one, we recede from another.

In a brief envoi, Johnson tells us what the four plan to do next. Pekuah decides she wants to join the convent she stayed in after being abducted by an Arab chieftain. Ah, no, actually she. What does this remind me of? So I bought a little city it was Galveston, Texas and told everybody that nobody had to move, we going to do it just gradually, very relaxed, no big changes overnight. Great wisdom comes from great privilege. Compare them to Imlac, the common poet. Johnson wrote the book, apparently, in a week.

The week between the death of his mother and her funeral.