F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Diamond as Big as the Ritz

(911 words)

Published in The Smart Set in 1922 and collected in Tales of the Jazz Age that same year, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” is an interesting artifact of the “roaring twenties” with self-conscious roots in nineteenth-century Continental decadence. Fitzgerald – who pursued a somewhat lavish lifestyle himself, commanding thousands of dollars per short story – has said he began the story by trying to imagine the limits of material wealth in a playful daydream (“The Diamond”). The experiment revealed, however, that extreme wealth can be deadly.

The story describes the summer vacation of John T. Unger, a teenager from Hades, Mississippi, w…

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Kale, Verna. "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 January 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1068, accessed 27 November 2015.]