Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Natalie Dykstra, English; Dr. Marsely Kehoe, Mellon Scholars

Document Type


Event Date



F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Sayre are well-known for the glamorous life they lived as they roamed throughout America and Europe. They met and befriended many other writers and artists during their travels, but never as many as they met in Paris, the center for expatriate Americans of the Lost Generation. This project is composed of three parts that focused on the Fitzgeralds’ lives through specific lenses. The first part is a Pecha Kucha presentation summarizing the lives of the Fitzgeralds and detailing their time in Paris. Part two is a Wordpress website analyzing the relationships that the Fitzgeralds developed with other American expatriates in Paris, accompanied by a story map of their most frequented locations. The artists and authors that we researched were Ernest Hemingway, E. E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, Sylvia Beach, and Pablo Picasso. The final part of our project is an analysis and comparison of novels written by Scott and Zelda, respectively. Zelda’s Save Me the Waltz is a fictional recollection of her time with Scott leading up to her mental illness and institutionalization, while Scott’s Tender is the Night displays his perspective. We each focused on one of the two novels in a ten-page essay, and then together compared our analyses, arriving at a conclusion we had not anticipated: Scott censored Zelda’s novel in order to use the material himself. Our project as a whole helped us to understand that the Fitzgeralds’ lives were not simply full of frivolity, but of sadness and pain that derived from their own marriage as well as their backgrounds, personalities, and ambitions.


This project originated in American Writers in Paris, an English course taught by Dr. Natalie Dykstra in fall 2018 as part of Grand Challenges|Paris Stories. This research was supported by the Hope College Mellon Scholars Program