This Side of Paradise is F Scott Fitzgerald's first novel and in many ways it is best read when you are yourself young. It is a sort of way-mark for youthful discovery. In retrospect, the book seems to me to be a warning of things to come; an anatomy of the formative processes that led ultimately to the Gordon Gekko generation that said that "Greed is Good" The main protagonist is Amory Blaine. He is a young man who is coming to terms with life and love around him. In the end he is morally bereft and cynical and has set the mood for the awakening of the American Dream:
"I detest poor people," thought Amory suddenly. "I hate them for being poor. Poverty may have been beautiful once, but it's rotten now. It's the ugliest thing in the world. It's essentially cleaner to be corrupt and rich than it is to be innocent and poor." He seemed to see again a figure whose significance had once impressed him—a well-dressed young man gazing from a club window on Fifth Avenue and saying something to his companion with a look of utter disgust. Probably, thought Amory, what he said was: "My God! Aren't people horrible!"