F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned explores many of the same themes and subjects that would animate his later work, including Tender is the Night and The Great Gatsby. This novel delves into the mysteries and complexities of marriage, taking as its focus the relationship of heir and bon vivant Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria, a couple that critics believe reflect many autobiographical elements of the tempestuous bond between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, the artist and flamboyant flapper Zelda.
The Beautiful and the Damned
Fitzgerald has written a novel that, in the last third of it, is reminiscent of AA literature. It outlines the insanity of alcoholism, the collateral damage it causes and the sheer desperation that ensues. He writes his narrative in a very descriptive way, exhibits great character development and brings a very hashed over story to life. In its day it was fabulous, I’m sure, today it is run of the mill, in my opinion. However, one can take away from the book one lesson. The evils of drink can be crippling.