In what ways is The Great Gatsby an autobiographical novel? Where can you find evidence of Fitzgerald's life in the work?

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The novel is not autobiography, but many of Fitzgerald's personal circumstances and experiences are reflected in it.

Many of Fitzgerald's biographers, as well as Fitzgerald himself, noted that Fitzgerald lived his life with a kind of divided personality--the romantic who sought an exciting, glittering lifestyle and the Midwesterner who still believed in traditional American values. These two very different aspects of Fitzgerald are reflected in Gatsby, the romantic dreamer, and Nick Carraway, the realist and voice of Midwestern integrity.

Many of Fitzgerald's experiences are incorporated into Jay Gatsby and his former self, Jimmy Gatz. Like Jimmy, Fitzgerald as a boy rejected the circumstances of his own birth. He sometimes fantasized that he was a foundling, that he really had been born into a family very different from his own--one of wealth and social standing (even royalty). Jimmy found his father to be an embarrassment; Fitzgerald had often been embarrassed by his eccentric mother.


(The entire section contains 529 words.)

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