Study Guide

This Side of Paradise Education

By F. Scott Fitzgerald


There are lots of different ways to get an education—going to a fancy prep school and fancier university is just one of them. In fact, it's hard to tell whether Amory learns more from his life inside school or his life outside of it.

We definitely don't see him using the stuff he's learned in a classroom on a daily basis. No, Amory's education in This Side of Paradise consists mostly of the things he learns by hanging out with other people. He also gets a painful education through his love life, which sometimes looks like an endless series of disappointments.

Questions About Education

  1. Why does Amory ask his mother to go away to a prep school in Connecticut? Please use specific evidence from the text to support your answer.
  2. What kind of education does Amory get from Monsignor Darcy? What's the most important thing Darcy teaches him?
  3. Does Amory appreciate the education he gets at Princeton? How so? How not so?

Chew on This

In This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald shows us that an awesome university education can be a good thing; but we need to be prepared for some harsh truths.

This Side of Paradise shows us that the main reason people go to schools like Princeton is for status and social connections, rather than a good education.