L.I.F.E. Academy High School For Film And Music Photos Dorothy Parker and The Great Gatsby

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Dorothy Parker and The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a classic American novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and first published in 1925 at the height of the Roaring Twenties in America. The book became a huge success.

At the time of the release of The Great Gatsby, Dorothy Parker, founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, was thirty-two years old, living and working in New York City, collaborating with George S. Kaufman on the script of the film “Business Is Business” and contemplates his second suicide attempt.

The main character in The Great Gatsby is Jay Gatsby, a WWI veteran who longs to be reunited with Daisy Buchannan, the love he lost five years before. Coincidentally, Dorothy Rothschild Parker’s first husband, Edwin Pond Parker II was also a WWI veteran, whose heart was broken by his true love, Dottie. Edwin wants his wife to move with him from New York to Connecticut. He decided that a divorce was in order. He withholds Parker’s name.

Dorothy Parker’s ‘best friend’ and nemesis, the Player, Lillian Hellman, published a memoir in which she revealed that Dorothy and F. Scott Fitzgerald had a brief affair. One would never know, beyond The Great Gatsby, which of Fitzgerald’s writings were influenced by his friend and former lover.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Rothschild Parker are identical. Both are famous and prolific authors who grew up in wealthy families. They attended private Catholic schools (although Dorothy’s father Jacob Henry Rothschild was Jewish). Both developed a passion for writing and enjoyed early successes. Both authors flourished financially during the Depression of the 1930’s.

Dorothy and F. Scott also enjoyed heavy drinking. Dorothy joked that she once attended Alcoholics Anonymous, but they wanted her to stop drinking immediately!

F. Scott and Dorothy led turbulent personal lives. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder and placed in a hospital that burned, resulting in her death. Dorothy Parker’s 2nd and 3rd husband Allan Campbell (they were married twice) was Bi-sexual and died in bed with her from an overdose of pills.

During their lives, both Parker and Fitzgerald wrote for the Saturday Evening Post and Esquire. Both are Hollywood screenwriters, although Dorothy was successful in this field (nominated for an Academy Award for co-scripting A Star Is Born), Fitzgerald was not.

Ironically, the main character in The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby went from poverty to riches before dying. While both Dorothy Parker and F. Scott Fitzgerald in their own lives went from wealth and success to struggle before their deaths.

F. Scott Fitzgerald died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of 44 in the middle of writing his last novel, “The Love of the Last Tycoon.” Dorothy Parker attended his funeral… Dorothy Parker also died of a heart attack in 1967 at the age of 73, in the middle of writing her autobiography, “The Events Leading Up to the Tragedy.” Both writers left their manuscripts unfinished. Although, Dorothy’s autobiography mysteriously disappeared after her death…

F. Scott Fitzgerald died believing that he was a failure because none of his writings came close to the success of The Great Gatsby. Dorothy Parker was almost penniless after being blacklisted in Hollywood during the McCarthy Era Commie scare. Dorothy was once quoted as saying, “I’ll never accomplish anything. That’s perfectly clear to me.”

Dorothy Parker’s life and struggles have been captured in movies, plays and the author’s one-woman show titled, “Dorothy Parker’s Room Enough For Two.” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life has also been depicted in films – with The Great Gatsby being made into several feature motion pictures including the latest starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Great Gatsby has become required reading for most every High School student in America over the past few decades; making F. Scott Fitzgerald a household name. As for Dorothy Parker, sadly, many people today don’t recognize who she was…

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