The dazzling, romantic fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald manages to captivate each new generation of readers. This critical introduction, written specifically for students, offers insightful yet accessible literary criticism for five novels: DEGREESUThis Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, and DEGREESUThe Last Tycoon. A full chapter is devoted to examining each of these works, with an indepth discussion of character development, thematic concerns and plot structure. The introduction to each novel traces its genesis and the critical reception it received at the time it was written. The historical context sections examine the ways visionary works like DEGREESUThe Great Gatsby offer both a chronicle and a critique of the attitudes, dreams, and illusions of American society during the period between the First and Second World Wars. Students will also get a vivid sense of how life and art converged in the fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the man who christened the Jazz Age. This introductory study features a biographical chapter that relates Fitzgerald's life to his work and a chapter that places his fiction within its historical and literary contexts. Five chapters analyze not only the basic literary components of plot, character, and theme, but also provide an alternate critical interpretation of each novel that enriches reader's understanding of the work's complexity and vision. A complete bibliography of Fitzgerald's works and a selected bibliography of critical and biographical sources complete this volume.