What Makes Amory Blaine Uniquely American In “This Side of Paradise”

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Amory Blaine is depicted as uniquely American in the story. This Side of Paradise is an epic story where the author mixes romance with realism. The novel is episodic and covers a wide range of events through fusion of captivating scenes. The most fascinating is college life depicted in the first part of the novel. The novel has many characters that the writer has effectively developed in his story. The character of preference that comes out as truly American by the nature of the story is Amory Blaine. The purpose of this paper is to describe what makes Amory Blaine in This Side of Paradisetruly American.

What makes Amory American

            Amory Blaine is depicted as an American in various instances of the novel. The descriptive language of the author concerning Amory’s family background indicates that he an American. He is the protagonist in the novel. The author describes Amory’s parents as Americans which automatically qualifies him as an American too. Beatrice who was Amory’s mother showed her dissatisfaction with non-Western women and accuses them of wearing a fake American accent to impress people. The novel was written at a time when expatriates in America were looked down upon by the natives. Beatrice seems not to be impressed by foreigners a situation that portrays her as a Native American and so is her son Amory.  Imagery used by the author in the novel reflects Amory as truly American. The author states that the vulgar air of western civilization got Amory while he was still very young. This indicates that the character bears American traits (Fitzgerald 8).

At school, the author describes Amory as brilliant in the history of the United States. The author also indicates that Amory was brighter in American history than his counterpart French scholars. The American origin of Amory may be the reason why he had excellent knowledge on the history of his country. Amory is depicted as arrogant and problematic in school. His tutors perceive him as an undisciplined student. This is due to the fact that he comes from a wealthy family. This reflects Amory to be American based on the fact that most Americans of his time in that particular social class exhibited similar trends. Through the social cultural instances used by the Fitzgerald in his novel, Amory is reflected as an American. For example, the girls wanted to be involved with Amory just for his handsomeness and wealth. Amory too knew this and used the same trait to get his suitors. This aspect displays his American nature. Under natural circumstances, an American young man of his caliber would have done the same. Amory also loved partying which is another social cultural aspect of an American youth. He and his friends attended parties numerous parties while in school (Fitzgerald 73).

From the reader’s point of view, Amory Blaine is American based on his care free character. Just like an American teenager from a well-to-do family, Amory indulges himself in smoking. For example in the first part of the novel, Amory insisted on smoking even when Myra cautioned him not to. Additionally, like a wealthy American kid, Amory and his friend after joining Princeton University craves on capturing everyone’s attention. They aim at achieving a high social status in school through participating in various high end activities. This is a common American nature of wealthy college students till today. Amory also associates himself with people of a high social class in school to win people’s attention. Like a young new age American, Amory is curious about the wealth and finances of his family. He seemed to worry much to the fact that their family wealth was diminishing due to inappropriate investments rather than the death of his father (Fitzgerald 92).

The activities of the character Amory Blaine in the novel brings out the new American culture. The novel was written in the early twentieth century when the Americans were adopting a newer culture. The role played by Amory in the novel was strategically used by the author to reflect this new culture hence depicting him as truly American. The author reflects the American jazz age through his story. The jazz age was characterized by partying, spending wealth and money lavishly through cheap earthly pleasures as well as holding nonintellectual conversations (Noonan 28). Amory’s lifestyle reflects the new American culture through his spendthrift behavior. He is raised from a rich family by an indulgent mother who he derives his behavior from. Another aspect of this culture was that people abhorred from critical thinking and only focused on having fun. Amory is a true reflection of this aspect especially during his college years. For example, Amory was fascinated by the trip across the country which was organized by the Triangle Club. He enjoyed the trip and had a lot of fun. This scenario portrays Amory as a true American (Fitzgerald 43).

The author also uses figurative language in his text to explain various events concerning Amory Blaine which coincides with his American nature. This is reflected through Amory’s speech. Amory constantly uses words such as “damn” which reveals his American nature. Most Americans have a tendency to use this word especially when things are not working as they may have desired (Buckley and Jill 1924). The language used by Amory especially when addressing his peers in college shows his American nature. The author uses descriptive writing style through which he elaborates much detail regarding the characters. However, Amory being the protagonist is the center of description as the story revolves around him. Fitzgerald takes his time in describing Amory’s experiences since his childhood to a grown man in his twenties. Through vivid description, Amory’s American nature is observed. The author indicates how Amory had a great urge to succeed in various aspects of life. Amory represents the true American spirit through his strong desire to make it in life. He had a great urge of being admired and also had a strong will to succeed. Amory expressed his strong desire to succeed which depicts an American spirit (Fitzgerald 44).

The writer reveals Amory true American nature through his participation in the war. Amory went into war to fight for his country although he is not very pleased about it. Americans are always ready to defend their country. They tend to be loyal to their country at all times and are always prepared to sacrifice themselves for it. Amory finds no clear reasons to justify the war but due to his American spirit he joins other comrades in the war. Dracy who is a church priest uploads Amory on his courageousness upon joining the war and even wishes that he was his father. He observes this as the noblest act Amory ever did. Additionally, Amory is so engrossed in the war that he does not immediately realize how it negatively affected his life. This reveals the American spirit in him where he seems to be concerned with the war outcome other than his own life. Amory is also proud of the fact that he participated in the war and views himself as a true gentleman (Fitzgerald 143).

Fitzgerald uses dramatic writing style to convey his ideas and constantly utilize dialogue. Through dialogue, Amory Blaine is depicted as an egocentric and self centered person. He cannot bear with failing to attain what he wants in life. Through his egocentrism, he depicts an American characteristic where he works hard in order to earn enough money to maintain his girlfriend Rosalind. It is common among Americans where men work hard to please meet their spouse requirements. Amory also give a picture of the American nature where he indulges in alcohol due to life frustrations after losing his girlfriend. It is also common for Americans to drink excessive amounts of alcohol due to challenges of life. Most Americans tend to indulge in substance abuse especially alcohol after the loss of their loved ones from a romantic relationship. Amory is not different and this exhibits his true American nature (Adler, Peter and Patrick 253).


            The paper has successfully highlighted the main instances on the novel This Side of Paradisethat portray Amory Blaine as an American. Fitzgerald directs most of his attention in the novel on describing Amory’s life experiences. This has hence enabled the paper to capture vivid details about the character which makes him truly American.

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