With his debut novel, Fitzgerald became the first writer to turn the national spotlight upon the so-called Jazz Age generation. In contrast to the older Lost Generation to which Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway belonged, the Jazz Age generation were those younger Americans who had been adolescents during World War I, and were largely untouched by the conflict's psychological and material horrors. Fitzgerald's novel riveted the nation's attention upon the leisure activities of this hedonistic younger generation and sparked a societal debate over their perceived immorality.
Concluding his long argument about their time's political and societal problems, Amory emphasizes his disillusionment with the current era. He announces his hope to stand alongside those who would bring forth fundamental changes to the age. The men in the car denounce his views, but upon learning that one of them was the father to one of his old friends at Princeton and that the son had died in World War I, Amory and the man reconcile, acknowledging mutual respect. It dawns on Amory that his time as a young promising Princetonian man has all been but a wasted dream, and he parts ways with his travel mates amicably.
Hoping to have a novel published before his deployment to Europe and his anticipated death in the trenches of World War I, Fitzgerald hastily wrote a 120,000-word manuscript entitled The Romantic Egotist. After obtaining a brief leave from the army in February 1918, Fitzgerald continued work on his unpublished manuscript at Princeton's University Cottage Club's library. Ultimately, eighty-one pages of this revised manuscript would later appear in the final version of This Side of Paradise.
This atonal blend of different fictive elements prompted cultural elites to celebrate the young Fitzgerald as a literary trailblazer whose work modernized a staid literature which had lagged \"as far behind modern habits as behind modern history.\" Dorothy Parker later remarked that \"This Side of Paradise may not seem like much now, but in 1920 it was considered an experimental novel; it cut new ground.\"
More so than most contemporary writers of his era, Fitzgerald's authorial voice evolved and matured over time, and each of his novels represented a discernible progression in literary quality. Although he was eventually regarded as possessing \"the best narrative gift of the century,\" this narrative gift was not perceived as immediately evident in This Side of Paradise. Believing that prose had a basis in lyric verse, Fitzgerald initially crafted his sentences entirely by ear and, consequently, This Side of Paradise contains numerous malapropisms and descriptive non sequiturs which irritated readers and reviewers. Reflecting upon these copious defects, critic Edmund Wilson later argued that Fitzgerald's debut work had \"almost every fault and deficiency that a novel can possibly have\".
The underlying themes of narcissism in the novel have been examined in a variety of scholarly essays. Scholar Saori Tanaka's essay on narcissism argues that \"Amory comes to know himself through Beatrice and his four lovers, which are like five sheets of glass. They are his reflectors...reflecting his narcissism and the inner side.\"
Fitzgerald riveted the nation's attention upon the hedonistic activities of their sons and daughters cavorting in the rumble seat of a Bearcat roadster and sparked a societal debate over their perceived immorality. Due to this thematic focus, his works became a sensation among college students, and the American national press depicted him as the standard-bearer for youth in revolt. \"No generation of Americans has had a chronicler so persuasive and unmaudlin\" as Fitzgerald, critic Burke Van Allen wrote in 1934, and no author was so identified with the generation recorded.
Remarking upon the popular association between Fitzgerald and the flaming youth of the Jazz Age, Gertrude Stein wrote in her memoir The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas that the author's fiction essentially created this new generation in the public's mind. Echoing this assertion, critics John V. A. Weaver and Edmund Wilson insisted that Fitzgerald imbued the Jazz Age generation with the gift of self-consciousness while simultaneously making the public aware of them as a distinctive cohort.
Alone together, Leila promises Sandoval to tell Spock their secret. Sandoval asks Leila if he would like Spock to stay with them and live as they do. \"There is no choice, Elias. He will stay.\" Later, during his examination of the colonists, McCoy is astounded to discover that every inhabitant is in perfect physical health, even to the point where childhood injuries have repaired themselves. He points to the example of Sandoval's multiple health problems prior to journeying to the planet, such as scar tissue found on his lungs that cannot be detected now or his removed appendix, which is somehow back in his body. Sometime later, Kirk tells Sandoval that Starfleet Command has just ordered him to remove the colonists from the planet but Sandoval tells Captain Kirk that they will not leave. Kirk says this is not an arbitrary decision on his part but Sandoval still says they are not leaving, \"it's entirely unnecessary\", he says. McCoy reminds Sandoval of the deadly berthold rays currently bombarding the planet and their effect but Sandoval tells the doctor of their healthy lifestyle that is a plant based diet and that no colonist has of yet died. Kirk asks him how their animals have died and the colonists have not. Sandoval dodges the question and still refuses the captain's order to leave.
Outside, Leila leads Spock towards a flowering plant, she says she was one of the first to find them. Spock is then blasted with spores. The spores cause Spock's emotional barriers to break down, making him drop his tricorder and react in physical pain, which quickly passes. He gets back up in a euphoric state and confesses his love for Leila, who says the Vulcan is now one of them. They kiss passionately.
Kirk decides to go back to the Enterprise. However, because Dr. McCoy had ordered about a hundred plants beamed aboard, the spores are carried throughout the Enterprise by the ship's ventilation system. He orders Lieutenant Uhura to contact Admiral James Komack at Starfleet. Lieutenant Uhura, under the spores' influence herself, leaves the bridge to beam down, but not before completely sabotaging the communications station. Only short-range sensors, to be able to contact the crew on the planet, remain. In a fit of rage, Kirk throws one of the pod plants on the bridge over the helm console and storms out. Outside the transporter room, the captain discovers that his entire crew is beaming down to the surface and orders them to go back to their stations. Leslie, speaking for the deserting crew, refuses and openly admits his actions are mutiny against the captain.
Kirk returns to the planet to find McCoy, to the house where he finds Spock and Sandoval. Spock responds by saying McCoy went to \"make something called a mint julep.\" He goes on to explain the spores not only induce a feeling of total peace and euphoria, but they are also the reason that the colonists have been protected from the deadly berthold rays. Spock, able to act as a scientist notwithstanding still being under the influence of the spores, explains that the plants traveled through space until they landed on the planet, actually thriving on the berthold rays. The plants act as a repository for thousands of microscopic spores until they find a Human body to inhabit. In return, they give their host complete health and peace of mind: in short, paradise; \"It's a true Eden, Jim.\" When Kirk hears that, he disagrees, stating that Humans weren't meant for that. He insists that man stagnates if he has no challenge to drive him and motivate him. But Spock says that Kirk simply doesn't understand now, but that he will come around eventually and really comprehend what they mean and join them.
Kirk, pretending to still be under the influence of the spores, hails Spock and tells him that he would like some help in moving some of the ship's equipment that could be useful down on the planet. Spock offers to send a team, but Kirk says he thinks the two of them can handle it. Spock agrees and, telling Leila he will return soon, leaves to be beamed back aboard the Enterprise. However, upon returning to the ship, Spock is greeted with Kirk threateningly brandishing a metal pipe and calling him a \"mutinous, disloyal, computerized, half-breed.\" Spock thinks Kirk is joking, but the captain persists and begins insulting Spock's parents and the entire Vulcan race. Spock pleads with Kirk to stop, but, he continues, now turning his attention to Leila and how Spock couldn't possibly love her, and that he is a freak who belongs in a circus, \"right next to the dog-faced boy.\" At this, Spock finally snaps and attacks Kirk, throwing him around the transporter room.
The transmitter is activated, and fights break out across the colony, destroying the spores' effects. Sandoval expresses regret, noting that they have not really accomplished anything in three years, as any progress they made was purely the result of the spores. He hopes that he and the other colonists can try again on another planet. As the Enterprise leaves Omicron Ceti III for Starbase 27, McCoy cynically states that this is the second time Humans have been thrown out of paradise and Kirk responds jokingly that actually this time they just walked out on their own; maybe they weren't meant for paradise, says Kirk, maybe they were meant to fight their way through, struggle and scratch for every inch of the way. Spock, on the other hand, realizes that his time with Leila on the surface was the first time he had ever been happy. 59ce067264