Good morning! In reading This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I found myself relating to the lead character, Amory Blaine, quite often. He's of a similar age, and is going through what I guess every 20 or even 30 something deals with: the big questions of "who am I?" and "what will I do with my life?". These aren't questions I ask that much, since I have the life-defining factor that is my child, but that doesn't mean they don't come up every now and then. Amory struggles with many things (romance, money, friendships, family) and I understand why critics titled this novel the most accurate representation of youth. They classified it as that in relation to the 1920's, but I would say it is still spot on almost a century later. The things and atmospheres that surround humans may change, but apparently the core of our lives don't. We will always struggle with coming into our own as adults, regardless of the times, because it's such a big transition at any decade. The fundamentals of being an adult will always be the same, and my daughter will have to figure life out just the same as Fitzgerald had to long before her.
Mr. Blaine shows us that no matter where you're from or who you are or are trying to be, life will always change and alter you and your views on life. Amory goes through so many "poses" that he thinks are exactly what he wants to be, and it disappoints him every time that he's not the right fit for that type of character. It's so relevant to the fact that we are always changing and evolving. I've gone through countless phases of hobbies, clothing styles, and friends. I don't know anyone who hasn't, and that's what makes this book and this story real. Amory may speak a little differently than we do now, and he may have dressed differently and done different things, but if you placed him in our world he would blend in perfectly.
I feel like this is one of those novels they should make teenagers read in high school. It would better prepare those kids for what's ahead than some of the other books we had to read, and it would show them that it's the norm to feel that way about life. Even in the 20's, when everyone was joyously celebrating the end of the war and a new era, people our age still felt misplaced and at a cross roads. Maybe I'll have Bailey read it when she's at the right age, or maybe she'll find it on her own. Either way, I'm sure it'll still be around and relevant. Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday!