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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
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What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Created: 03/08/13

Replies: 16

Posted Mar. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism? Was it due to his rocky relationship with Zelda or did he drink to fit in with the crowd?


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
SusanC.

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 3

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Scott had an inferiority complex about every aspect of his life - his relatively poor upbringing, the fact that he couldn't afford to finish Princeton, even Sinclair Lewis' Main Street beating "This Side of Paradise" in the best-selling categories for the month of October. When Zelda had the affair with the French Airman he went crazy because that just proved his inferiority complex - drinking goes hand in hand with that type of mental view.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 62

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RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Alcoholism is generally caused by a genetic predisposition to the condition, so I really felt that Scott's excessive drinking was caused in part by his own lack of self confidence particularly when confronted with peers like Hemingway and his own genetic inability to reject alcohol once he started drinking. Other issues such as his somewhat rocky relationship with Zelda may have contributed to his self image problem, but would not have caused alcoholism.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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rosannes

Join Date: 01/29/13

Posts: 21

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I think he had self issues. He never felt good enough, smart enough, rich enough etc. He constantly compared himself to others. Initially, I think he was so enamored with Hemingway that he copied what he did i.e., the drinking and womanizing.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 83

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RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I agree with Beth350. Alcoholism is a disease and Scott paved his own path to being an alcoholic. He could have named any number of "causes", but it boiled down to the fact that he had an addictive personality.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marys

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 14

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I completely agree with all who have posted before me - Scott was predisposed to alcoholism and add on the other stresses of being an author - alcohol was the perfect escape.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cherylk

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 17

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Having grown up with an alcoholic father, I know how devastating this disease is to everyone, not just the alcoholic. I don't necessarily agree with the post about being genetically predisposed to alcoholism, but do agree that in Scott's case, he lacked self-confidence to an extreme and found solace in drinking as so many do.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sylviag

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 12

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Alcoholism was not well understood in the early 20's. This was before the success of AA and before rehab. It was normal and macho to drink and drink a lot. When Scott was drunk he could forget his failures, forget his insecurities, and disassociate from responsibility for any of the stresses of his life.


Posted Mar. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 26

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I think he always liked to drink and would have been a heavy drinker in any case. Even before moving to Europe, Scott and Zelda both partied like crazy, but after meeting up with Hemmingway, Scott had a friend to commiserate with, to copy, to drink with. He also used his "peer" to feel ok about womanizing. Over the top behavior in anything is usually destructive to a marriage and a life.


Posted Mar. 26, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Big name writers are like celebrities who, for whatever reason, often have issues with addictive behaviors. Maybe it's the pressure of being in the public eye or maybe that's just an excuse for indulging addictive behavior. I'm not sure but I believe being high profile and having friends who drank heavily certainly contributed to his problems with alcohol.


Posted Mar. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 127

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RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

This is a difficult question to answer about anyone in any time frame. However, lots of money and lots of spare time can often be a dangerous combination - as seen in the biographies of celebrities decade after decade.


Posted Mar. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

It was an age of over indulgence and Fitzgerald had the money and fame to do what he wanted. WW1 was over and life in Europe was cheap for Americans. Add to that the literary crowd that the Zelda and Scott traveled with and you have a good reason for over indulgence in all kinds of extraordinary behavior. I agree that in Scott's case there might have been a hereditary factor. I believe that daughter Scottie had problems with alcohol too


Posted Mar. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 29

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I don't think Z was the problem. One of the big problems is "everyone was doing it" - there is no way they could socialize with their crowd without drinking. I was impressed he could stop for weeks to write.
Alcohol is a crutch and an excuse, but you keep waking up in the morning not having accomplished anything. Some people are easily addicted and it is a constant struggle. He had to show that he could do everything including drinking and writing and having literary discussions.


Posted Mar. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I agree with SusanC. that Scott appears to have had an inferiority complex. He felt inferior in college because he had not been born to a wealthy, prominent family and then, as an adult, he felt inferior because although his work was popularly appreciated it was as critically lauded during his lifetime. I think his relationship with Hemingway further emphasized this inferiority complex because Hemingway had such a "manly" facade that Scott felt he needed to live up to.
Additionally, I think Scott drank to try to recapture the magic that happened with his first successes as a writer, that were born out of his wild, alcohol fueled escapades.


Posted Apr. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 42

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Alcohol was Scott's way of coping with disappointment and ignoring reality.


Posted Apr. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 27

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

Zelda was definitely not behind Scott's drinking problem, though I do believe he was behind her own drinking problem. I think Scott was a depressed person. He never really felt good enough & was socially below his friends, including Zelda. The social & economic status was probably very important to him & by drinking it allowed him to feel better about himself.


Posted Apr. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 30

RE: What do you think was behind Scott's alcoholism?

I agree with Joan. This was the flapper era and doing everything to excess seems to have been the way of life. Amost all of Scott and Zelda's friends were big party people and heavy drinkers. I think Scott would have been an alcoholic with or without Zelda but it was easy to blame her. Like most alcoholics, eventually it became the only way he could ge through the day.


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