Review of Scott Fitzgerald’s Short Story A New Leaf

The short story “A New Leaf” by F. Scott Fitzgerald rang many alarms for me the first being I found myself completely stumped in the matter of which form of fiction this specific piece was written. I personally found it highly entertaining like that of commercial fiction yet I can definitely see the potential message behind the story to get a meaningful lesson across. “A New Leaf” is so entertaining for me because it is literally one of the pieces you can see in your head as you are reading it.
My personal favorite moment was envisioning just how Julia felt as she went dancing in the evenings with Mr. Ragland. I picture it as something magical like every moment she is with him the rest of the world melts away. She is completely content with a night just enveloped in Ragland’s arms all the while he fights the temptation of having another drink in her presence. I think the overall tone of the story could be taken as literal fiction.
The main message being patience is a virtue or sometimes it can be better to let someone hold on to a small glimmer of hope for the common good than to crush their spirits with the absolute truth. I personally believe sometimes it is greater to let someone believe a small lie than to kill their belief in their own ability to find hope. Phil is the main demonstrator of both of my points. In the story he waits for Julia obviously loving her throughout the whole story. He lets her make her own decision to stay with Dick in the beginning of the story although it was against his will and better judgment.

Later in the story he comes back into the story not to hurt Julia with the knowledge of Dick’s shortcomings and foolery but as a friend with a warning. Through all of this Paul shows great restraint and immense love for Julia; he waits for the time to be right to confront Paul in a private fashion. Finally knowing all of Dick’s dirty secrets after his death Paul still refuses to tell Julia she was wrong about Dick all along. He did not take away joyful feelings that Julia felt about Dick dying trying to change his lifestyle even though he knew the real truth all along.

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