Author (Your Name)

Laura Longsworth, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. English Dept.


Charles Bassett


Scott Fitzgerald's mother Mollie, his first love, Ginevra King, and his wife, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, were the three women who had the most formatie influence on his fiction. His experiences with them dominated his views of love, women, and dreams. He also consistently used these three women as character models for his fictional women. In this thesis I will show how Fitzgerald used these women to create his fictional world in four of his novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender is the Night. These works also capture the disappointments Fitzgerald suffered as a result of his dreams of women. In the worlds that Fitzgerald created for his characters, men often idealize women and are then devastated when they discover that their dreams of women are intangible illusions. Fitzgerald's men believe in their self-created illusions of women because the illusions, or dreams, are preferable to realistic insight into themselves and love. However, as Fitzgerald's male characters found, placing idealistic dreams on another person inevitably leads to disappointment.


Full-text access is restricted to Colby College.


novel, love, idealize, illusion