10 Things You Didn't Know About The Great Gatsby

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Great Gatsby

Little-known facts about the great American novel and the man who wrote it.
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The Great Gatsby... the standing definition of the great American novel, which you were probably forced to read in high school. Here are things you probably didn't know about this classic work of literature, and the man who wrote it.

1. The novel was written in France.

F. Scott Fitzgerald with his wife, Zelda, and their daughter, Scottie, in France, 1924.

The Great Gatsby takes place in New York City in 1922, later called the Roaring Twenties, or the Jazz Age. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the novel while living on the French Riviera. He moved there with his wife, Zelda, in 1924 for a "change in scenery to spark his creativity" and wrote the novel in only a year. He even alludes to his year in France in the first chapter of The Great Gatsby, while describing Daisy and Tom Buchanan:

"They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together."

2. East Egg and West Egg are apparently based off of towns in Connecticut.

Fitzgerald and Zelda outside their home in Connecticut, 1920.

After their marriage, Fitzgerald and his wife lived in the town of Westport, Connecticut for only six months. A theory stands that Fitzgerald named the fictional locations East Egg and West Egg on Long Island after the nearby Connecticut towns of Weston and Easton. In the town of Westport however, where the Fitzgeralds lived for six months, there is a intersection at Weston Road and Easton Road. The road sign at this intersection could also be the inspiration for East and West Egg.

3. The book didn't become wildly popular until after Fitzgerald's death.

Fitzgerald's most famous work did not receive the worldwide recognition it deserved until after his death in 1940. While he was alive, the book was largely considered a failure.

4. The Great Gatsby was not the book that earned Fitzgerald fame and fortune.

Fitzgerald with his daughter,1933.

Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published in 1920, and was a huge commercial success, earning him fame, fortune, and access to the wealthy lifestyle depicted in The Great Gatsby. In fact, The Great Gatsby earned him less than $9,000 in his life.

5. His money is what won him his wife.

Fitzgerald and Zelda on their wedding day, 1920.

Fitzgerald enthusiastically competed for the attention of Zelda Sayre, a wealthy, popular "flapper girl." Fitzgerald proposed in 1919, but she denied him, claiming he did not have enough money to support her. It wasn't until the spring of 1920, when This Side of Paradise was published, and Fitzgerald became rich practically overnight, that he finally won her heart. They married exactly one week after the book was published, at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Fitzgerald was 23 years old; Zelda was only 19.

6. The love affair between Gatsby and Daisy is somewhat based on Fitzgerald's marriage.

Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) in the 2013 film.

Fitzgerald's marriage was troubled by multiple affairs, and Zelda's mental illnesses. Raging jealousy was the result. Zelda apparently accused her husband of cheating on her with his dear friend, Ernest Hemingway.

7. While Gatsby's mansion was fictional, the inspiration for it came from the Beacon Towers mansion on Long Island.

Beacon Towers in Sands Point, Long Island, in 1927.

This waterfront mansion was built on Sands Point in 1917, and was sold to William Randolph Hearst. Baz Luhrmann, who directed the 2013 film The Great Gatsby, visited Sands Point and looked at the luxurious homes in the area as research for Gatsby's mansion.

8. Fitzgerald was related to American royalty.

Fitzgerald as a young boy, with his father, Edward, circa 1900.

The F. in F. Scott Fitzgerald's name stands for Francis. His full name given at birth was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, named after his cousin, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the "Star Spangled Banner."

9. Both Fitzgerald and Zelda died young.

Fitzgerald and his Zelda are buried together in Maryland. The infamous final sentence of the novel is engraved where they are buried.

Zelda suffered from mental illness, including schizophrenia and manic depression. She had multiple mental breakdowns and was in and out of mental hospitals, which put quite the strain on their marriage.

Scott Fitzgerald died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of 44. Zelda died eight years later at 47 years old. She was treated with electroshock therapy at a mental institution in North Carolina, and was strapped down to a table, awaiting the electroshock treatment, one day when a fire broke out in the hospital. She, among many other women, died in the fire.

10. The book's dedication page has become iconic.

The Great Gatsby's dedication page reads, "Once again, to Zelda." This phrase inspired a 2008 book titled, Once Again to Zelda: The Stories Behind Literature's Most Intriguing Dedications by Marlene Wagman-Geller.

Cover Image Credit: New York Post

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!

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Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:


1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

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