Amory is a tragic idealist, I'll say it again. I felt utterly sorry for this character, from a very personal nature, too. I could feel for Amory's struggle to be dedicated to his studies and academics, but the world he was living in had already predetermined what was acceptable and what wasn't. That was having money, lots and lots of money, in order to reap the rewards of the 1920s.
You can absolutely feel the young spirit in the novel, as Fitzgerald was in his twenties when he wrote this novel. This ambitious, brave spirit, being brought down by the norms of society, and slowly, too. It was painful to read it, maybe even more painful than The Great Gatsby, which I absolutely loved. The Great Gatsby was an epic kind of tragedy, This Side of Paradise is just tragic.
Fitzgerald no doubt even at such a young age was a mastermind of storytelling. I love his writing.
What really did me in was the relationship between Amory and Rosalind. It was a perfect mix between The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights. Full of passionate, tragic, foolish, wreckless heartache. When I read Wuthering Heights I was so angry with the with the romance dynamic between the characters, it drove me crazy. In This Side of Paradise I just wanted to give each of them a piece of my mind. Both of them so alike, and yet so different. They should have never had anything between each other, it was some kind of ripple in time in the novel, and it gave the novel such a bitter taste.
If you have read "This Side of Paradise," I would like to know what you thought of Amory as the novel approached in ending?
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics
First Published: 1920
Read for: The January Jazz Reading Challenge