As Fitzgerald himself was acutely aware, his life and career uncannily paralleled events on the national scene.
It was a time of challenge to the established order, of personal indulgence and even self-destructive excess, and Fitzgerald was its self-proclaimed spokesman and symbol.
Evidently stung by the harsh words of critics and the failure as well of his presidential farce The Vegetable (1923), Fitzgerald made a conscious effort to concentrate on creating serious, even tragic works that addressed broad historical and social issues.
To pay the high medical bills, Fitzgerald focused on writing short stories for popular magazines, for example, Saturday Evening Post and Esquire.
Worn out by too much fame too soon, by his temperamental inability to establish a stable home with financial and psychological security, and by his fear that he might have contributed to his wife's insanity through his own excesses, including alcoholism, Fitzgerald felt by the early 1930s that he was emotionally bankrupt, unable to regroup his resources to fulfill his roles as professional writer, husband, and father.