Literapedia Notes for

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Characters:

  • Amory Blaine (1): the protagonist
  • Stephen Blaine (1): Amory's father
  • Beatrice Blaine (1): Amory's mother
  • Monsignor Darcy (1): A bishop; Amory's mentor
  • Myra St. Claire (1): Amory's childhood friend
  • Froggy Parker (1): Amory's childhood friend
  • Kerry and Burne Holiday (2): Amory's friends at Princeton
  • Thomas (Tom) D'Invilliers (2): Amory's friend at Princeton
  • Isabelle Borge (2): one of Amory's lovers
  • Alec Connage (2): Amory's friend at Princeton
  • Dick Humbird (2): Amory's friend at Princeton
  • Jesse Ferrenby (2): Amory's friend at Princeton
  • Clara Page (4): Amory's third cousin
  • Rosalind Connage (1): Alec's sister
  • Mrs. Connage (1): Alec and Rosalind's mother
  • Mrs. Lawrence (2): A friend of Monsignor Darcy's
  • Mr. Ferrenby (5): Jesse's father

Chapter Summaries

Book One: The Romantic Egotist
1. Amory, Son of Beatrice: Amory’s childhood and his close relationship with his mother are described. Beatrice has a nervous breakdown and Amory spends the next two years with his aunt and uncle. Amory is invited to Myra St. Claire’s bobsledding party, and he kisses Myra. Amory falls in love with many girls, and formulates a philosophy to live by. Amory’s mother returns to Lake Geneva, and together they plan for Amory to attend St. Regis boarding school. He meets Monsignor Darcy, and they form a close bond. At school, Amory is considered conceited and undisciplined by students and teachers. After graduating from St. Regis, Amory decides to go to Princeton.
2. Spires and Gargoyles: Amory settles in at Princeton. He meets Kerry and Burne Holiday, and they become friends. Amory joins the football team, but is injured and joins the newspaper staff instead. Amory meets Thomas D’Invilliers, and they bond over a love of literature. He joins the Triangle Club, and travels performing in “Ha-Ha Hortense”. Amory goes to Minneapolis to see Isabelle Borge. Amory enjoys his sophomore spring, and he exchanges love letters with Isabelle. One day he finds Dick Humbird dead from a car crash. Isabelle and her mother visit, Amory and Isabelle go to the prom, and then visit her summer house on Long Island.
3. The Egotist Considers: Amory and Isabelle argue and quickly end their affair. Amory fails an exam. His father dies and he learns that his family is losing money. He visits Monsignor Darcy again. After going out drinking with friends, Amory thinks he sees the devil watching him, and when he returns to Princeton, Tom says he has similar visions.
4. Narcissus Off Duty: In Amory’s senior year, after a deep discussion with Burne Holiday, the two grow quite close. Amory goes to visit Monsignor Darcy often. He visits his poor, widowed third cousin Clara in Philadelphia, and he falls in love with her but she does not love him. World War One takes hold and Burne goes to Pennsylvania because he’s a pacifist. Amory plans to join either infantry or aviation, and he says goodbye to Tom.

Interlude (May 1917- February 1919)
While he is at war, Amory receives a letter from Monsignor Darcy saying he wishes he was Amory’s father, and he is glad that if he does not survive the war, he can live on through Amory. Amory writes a poem about heading for Europe during the war. Amory writes a letter to Tom, saying they will live together when he returns and goes into politics. He mentions that Kerry and Jesse died, and that he has become agnostic.

Book Two: The Education of a Personage
1. The Debutante: Amory attends Rosalind Connage’s debut, and accidentally walks into her dressing room, where they kiss. Mrs. Connage gives Rosalind advice about men, and Rosalind decides she loves Amory. They have a love affair and Amory begins work at an advertising agency. Rosalind eventually ends things with Amory because he is not wealthy enough.
2. Experiments in Convalescence: Amory drowns his sorrows in alcohol, quits his job, and gets beaten up. He continues to live as an alcoholic, until prohibition is instituted, and he recovers. He visits Mrs. Lawrence. Amory insults Tom’s writing in “The New Democracy,” and writes his own piece. Tom leaves so Amory moves in with an uncle in Maryland.
3. Young Irony: Amory meets Eleanor and they discuss literature while hiding from a storm. They kiss goodnight, and Amory begins to love her. They spend the summer together, and on the last night go horseback riding, where Eleanor almost rides off a cliff. Years later, they write each other poems.
4. The Supercilious Sacrifice: Amory is in Atlantic City and meets with Alec and a few girls. He stays with Alec in his hotel, and when police come looking for an unmarried man and woman together, Amory pretends he was with the girl. He is not charged for a crime. He learns that Rosalind has married another man, his family money is gone, and Monsignor Darcy has died.
5. The Egotist Becomes a Personage: Amory reflects on life through a conversation in his mind. He tries to enter a private club and is not allowed in. He attends Monsignor Darcy’s funeral and then walks to Princeton. He is picked up by Mr. Ferrenby and his secretary, and they discuss politics and economics. Amory stops at a Civil War graveyard and finally reaches Princeton. He thinks about himself and Rosalind and cries, “I know myself, but that is all.”

Book Note Creator


Emma Bland, '08