So I started reading a new novel a few days ago called Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald written by Therese Anne Fowler. A historical fiction novel that basically follows the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, and his wife Zelda. I call Zelda a Renaissance woman because she was different than the other women of her time especially from the area of the United States she was from. She was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama (a true Southern belle). She was different than the girls she grew up with because most Southern women of that time aspired to be wives and mothers and Zelda wanted so much more than that. She was essentially a free spirit, so when F. Scott Fitzgerald showed up in her town being a soldier he opened up a whole new world to her. He was a also a free spirit, a writer and a dreamer. He had big dreams of getting his first novel published, This Side of Paradise. Eventually after some revisions of his manuscript the novel gets published and he has Zelda move to New York for them to get married. It wasn’t a smooth road to say the least. There were some bumps along the way, but they finally get married and now they’re living the high life living in the beautiful Biltmore hotel, drinking champagne every night, and staying up until the crack of dawn. As most people know though the Fitzgeralds had a pretty tumultuous relationship that quickly became tragic. They had bitter fights fueled by lots of alcohol and I feel that their tumultuous relationship was caused by two people that were fiercely passionate. As I read through this novel it will be interesting to see how Fowler tackles those points of their relationship.
“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”~Langston Hughes
*This is one of my favorite poems by the highly esteemed Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes. This may be one of Hughes’ most famous poems and I especially love this poem in connection with the play, A Raisin in the Sun, which got its name from this poem. I feel like this poem really sets up the story of the play and the plot of the play is really built around this poem. It’s all about dreams. Essentially, what happens when you don’t follow your dreams? Based off of this poem it seems like Hughes’ is trying to convey the message that not following your dreams can have unpleasant consequences. When you think about your dreams and you stew over the fact that you can’t get anywhere, the weight of it all can be maddening. In the play this reaction is most notable in the character Walter Younger who had dreams of going into business for himself by using his dead father’s insurance money. He became obsessed. It’s almost like the dreams that he had were eating him up inside. I think this is a very good poem to reflect on. Tell me what are your thoughts on this poem? Here I’ve posted a link to the poem