The Crack-up

Reading through Fitzgerald’s essay, there is an overtone of hopelessness and disappointment. Even when Fitzgerald describes his youth, these aren’t scenes bathed in sunshine as the term ‘youth’ brings to mind but more so of lost opportunities. Everything in Fitzgerald’s life seems to be him battling against himself. This essay reads as bleak and after completing it, I myself felt as though I was being weighed down by Fitzgerald’s almost steam-of-consciousness writing. Fitzgerald’s word choice in his essay plays a huge part in being able to evoke these glum emotions in the reader. Fitzgerald writes, “In this silence there was a vast irresponsibility toward every obligation, a deflation of all my values” which contains many words with negative connotations. The silence Fitzgerald describes seems deafening while describing irresponsibility as vast makes it seem as though he has lost control of his own actions. Deflation may be the perfect word to describe the tone of this essay. There is only a slight glimmer of hope from Fitzgerald at the  beginning of the essay, hoping that succeeding as a writer would guarantee him the things he wanted and in the way he wanted them. However, if we continue reading it’s almost painful to see this hope being lost and how much it seems that his love of writing also brings him pain. This seems to be the artist’s struggle with perfecting their craft while also maintaining functionality. Fitzgerald’s essay has left me with a sense of dread and overall I feel pity for the man and his struggles. At least as depicted in this essay.

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