The Beautiful and Damned, first published in 1922, is F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel. It portrays the Eastern elite during the Jazz Age, exploring New York café society. As in Fitzgerald's other novels, the characters are complex, especially with respect to marriage and intimacy. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship with Zelda Fitzgerald.
The Beautiful and Damned tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1910s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune, his relationship with his wife, Gloria, his service in the army, and his alcoholism.
The Beautiful and Damned is at once a morality tale, a meditation on love, money and decadence, and a social document. It concerns characters' disproportionate appreciation of their past, which consumes them in the present.
According to Fitzgerald critic James West, the novel is concerned with the question of vocation—what does one do with oneself when one has nothing to do? Fitzgerald presents Gloria as a woman whose vocation is nothing more than to catch a husband. After her marriage to Anthony, Gloria's sole vocation is to slide into indolence and alcoholism; her husband's sole vocation is to wait for his inheritance.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the ”Lost Generation” of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his most famous), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.
Fitzgerald's work has been adapted into films many times. His short story, ”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, was the basis for a 2008 film. Tender is the Night was filmed in 1962, and made into a television miniseries in 1985. The Beautiful and Damned was filmed in 1922 and 2010. The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years; 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In addition, Fitzgerald's own life from 1937 to 1940 was dramatized in 1958 in Beloved Infidel.