I Didn’t Get Over by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Author: Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Published: Esquire (October 1936)
Genre: Short Stories
“I Didn’t Get Over” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald published in Esquire in October 1936. “I Didn’t Get Over” would later be part of his set of essays titled The Crack-Up.
1. I Didn’t Get Over Synopsis
The story is about a group of college friends, known as the “War Babies,” who gather for their twentieth reunion. They reminisce about their experiences during World War I. One classmate, Hibbing, who left college as a junior and has not returned for twenty years, joins them. As they discuss the war, Hibbing reveals a story about their classmate, Abe Danzer, who was a war hero but had a tragic downfall.
Abe Danzer had a commanding role in the army but got into trouble when he allowed a trench mortar to misfire during a river crossing exercise, putting his comrades at risk. Afterward, he struggled with accusations and a tarnished reputation. The story reveals unexpected twists about the characters and their pasts, highlighting the complexities of their lives after the war.
2. I Didn’t Get Over Summary
The story opens with a group of war veterans discussing their experience as soldiers during a college reunion. While they are conversing, another alumnus called Hibbings joins them. He brings up Abe Danzer, a friend who went missing during the war.
Hibbings explains that during the war, Abe was tasked by General Brown to ensure that the men crossed a river safely using a raft. However, General Brown overlooked the raft’s safety, leading to a few soldiers drowning. Abe’s quick-wittedness prompted him to organize the remaining soldiers to rescue those who had gone overbroad.
The army’s higher command came to know of this and planned to reward Abe. However, General Brown’s jealousy leads him to blame Abe for the incident, and Abe is sent to Leavenworth Prison, where he dies.
Soon, the men have to leave, and in a shocking plot twist, Hibbings reveals to the readers that he is General Brown.
3. Theme: Hubris
“I Didn’t Get Over” is a cautionary tale about how one’s pride may lead to fatal consequences. The story also highlights the courage to admit one’s mistakes upon committing the error. Hibbings fails to do so and instead is overcome with jealousy, choosing to frame Abe.
4. Frequently Asked Questions about I Didn’t Get Over
Why is the meaning of the title I Didn’t Get Over?
The ambiguous title can mean several things, but the most relevant explanation is ‘getting over’ war trauma.
Recommended: Short Stories Quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald