F. Scott Fitzgerald: Writing Under the Influence of Europe

  • Tim Xu College of Arts and Science


As one of the notable figures in 20th Century American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald has been studied widely by authors, critics, and historians alike. This paper addresses the role of Fitzgerald's time abroad in creating the inspiration for his work as well as Europe's part in catalyzing his eventual decline in the public eye. As a member of the so-called "Lost Generation" of American writers who took up residence in Paris during the 1920s, Fitzgerald was profoundly influenced by his peers, notably Ernest Hemingway. Another guiding factor in Fitzgerald's writing was the presence of Zelda, Fitzgerald's wife, whose mental illness placed both an emotional and financial strain on Fitzgerald. This paper examines the ups and downs of Fitzgerald's life while incorporating the analysis of several of his Europe-inspired works, including his last completed novel Tender is the Night and his famed short story "Babylon Revisited." Fitzgerald's life and work support the claim that Europe was fundamentally a double-edged sword - while Europe provided the thrilling lifestyle that fueled Fitzgerald's writing and widespread notoriety, it also brought about his ultimate disintegration.

Author Biography

Tim Xu, College of Arts and Science
Tim Xu is a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences. He plans to major in Neuroscience and European Studies and has other interests in French literature and biological science. A native of Northern Virginia, Tim attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing ping-pong, listening to movie soundtrack music, and swimming. He also works in the Blakely lab and is a member of the Arts and Sciences and Honor councils. Following his four years here at Vanderbilt, Tim aspires to become a physician-scientist in psychiatry or neurology, all while devotedly pursuing his non-scientific interests.
How to Cite
XU, Tim. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Writing Under the Influence of Europe. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 5, july 2009. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <http://vurj.vanderbilt.edu/index.php/vurj/article/view/2811>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v5i0.2811.
Humanities and Social Sciences


F. Scott Fitzgerald; Europe; Tender is the Night