If you all haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories, they’re well worth it. Rich Boy is my favorite story ever.
Why? This character is more than a type: he’s a living, breathing human being, full of dignity and sadness and missed moments of happiness.
“I have written a 15,000 word story about you called The Rich Boy—it is so disguised that no one except you and me and maybe two of the girls concerned would recognize, unless you give it away, but it is in large measure the story of your life, toned down here and there and simplified. Also many gaps had to come out of my imagination. It is frank, unsparing but sympathetic and I think you will like it—it is one of the best things I have ever done.”
~ Scott to his friend Ludlow Fowler.
“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves.”
Another great pull-out quote:
“Begin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find that you have created–nothing. That is because we are all queer fish, queerer behind our faces and voices than we want any one to know or than we know ourselves. When I hear a man proclaiming himself an ‘average, honest, open fellow,’ I feel pretty sure that he has some definite and perhaps terrible abnormality which he has agreed to conceal.”