Taps At Reveille by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Short Stories Collection
Taps at Reveille is an anthology of 18 stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published by Scribners in 1935. The stories are collected from The Saturday Evening Post, American Mercury, and Esquire.
1. Taps At Reveille Synopsis
Taps at Reveille contain three parts, the first two being the Basil stories (about Basil Duke Lee) and the Josephine stories (about Josephine Perry), and the third contains other stories. The Basil and Josephine stories reflect the experiences of boyhood and girlhood, respectively, and how the two characters emerge from these defining childhood experiences.
2. Taps At Reveille Stories
Taps at Reveille contains the following short stories:
2.1. Stories about Basil Duke Lee:
The Scandal Detectives
“The Scandal Detectives” explores the world of youth, first love, and coming of age as seen through the adventures of Basil, his friends, and his evolving feelings for Imogene.
The Freshest Boy
“The Freshest Boy” revolves around Basil Lee, a schoolboy at St. Regis School, and his struggles with isolation, self-esteem, and dreams of playing football. It highlights moments of rejection, acceptance, and perseverance in his academic journey.
He Thinks He’s Wonderful
“He Thinks He’s Wonderful” follows Basil Duke Lee during various stages of his life and explores his experiences, relationships, and personal growth. It delves into his interactions with friends, girls, and society, highlighting moments of joy, self-discovery, and challenges as he navigates adolescence and young adulthood.
The Captured Shadow
“The Captured Shadow” revolves around Basil’s efforts to stage a play with his friend Riply. Their journey involves casting challenges, including Basil’s romantic interest in Evelyn and the involvement of his rival, Hubert. The story explores themes of competition, insecurity, and the complexities of adolescence.
The Perfect Life
In “The Perfect Life,” Basil, is inspired by a conversation with John Granby to lead a morally upright life. He seeks to win the affection of Jobena but faces challenges due to his preachy behavior.
2.2. Stories about Josephine Perry:
“First Blood” explores the life and emotions of Josephine, a young girl, focusing on her interactions, infatuations, and family dynamics. It delves into her changing feelings and her journey towards maturity.
A Nice Quiet Place
“A Nice Quiet Place” follows Josephine’s summer, filled with crushes, changing plans, and encounters. She experiences disappointments, yearning for love, and a transformative encounter with a stranger that shifts her perspective.
A Woman with a Past
In “A Woman with a Past,” Josephine’s journey involves her observations and interactions with men during a trip to New Haven. She questions her ideals of romance and explores changing perspectives on relationships.
2.3. Others Stories:
In “Crazy Sunday,” a young writer in Hollywood navigates the glamorous but treacherous world of the entertainment industry. He forms a complicated connection with Stella Calman, wife of a director, amidst social intrigue and a sudden tragedy.
In “Two Wrongs,” Bill McChesney, a theater producer, experiences the complexities of success, love, and personal choices. His interactions with Emmy Pinkard, his wife, and Lady Sybil Combrinck lead to a series of events that challenge his career and relationships.
The Night of Chancellorsville
In this gripping narrative, Nora recounts her misadventure during the Civil War era. Encouraged by her friend Nell’s tales of prosperity in “Ole Virginia,” Nora embarks on a journey with high hopes, only to face a nightmarish ordeal.
The Last of the Belles
Set in the backdrop of Atlanta, “The Last of the Belles” explores the evolving relationships and emotions of the protagonist with Ailie Calhoun. Through encounters with other characters and the passage of time, the narrative delves into love, longing, and the impact of changing circumstances on personal connections.
“Majesty” explores the life of Emily Castleton, her societal pressures to marry, and her dramatic flight from her wedding. It follows the aftermath of her escape and her cousin Olive’s involvement. The narrative delves into Emily’s enigmatic European sojourn and her unexpected path to becoming a queen.
Family in the Wind
“Family in the Wind” revolves around Dr. Forrest Janney, a conflicted alcoholic. He refuses to operate on a gunshot victim, Pinky, due to his unreliable reputation. A tornado strikes, causing chaos and destruction. Dr. Janney eventually aids in relief efforts but contemplates leaving.
A Short Trip Home
“A Short Trip Home” revolves around the narrator’s infatuation with Ellen, a woman with an enigmatic aura. During a party, Ellen’s mysterious behavior with a man raises concerns. A confrontation ensues, revealing hidden complexities. Later, the narrator seeks information about a man named Joe Varland, leading to unsettling discoveries.
“One Interne” follows Bill Tulliver, a medical student and aspiring doctor, as he navigates his ambition to excel in medicine. During a club show, he encounters a mysterious girl and meets Dr. Howard Durfee. Bill’s professional journey includes diagnosing patients, but his own health takes a sudden turn.
“The Fiend.” revolves around Crenshaw Engels, who seeks revenge on his family’s murderer, the Fiend, imprisoned for over thirty years. Crenshaw torments the Fiend psychologically but ultimately helps him receive medical care when the opportunity for revenge arises.
“Babylon Revisited” follows Charlie, a recovering alcoholic, who returns to Paris to visit his daughter Honoria. He hopes to regain custody but faces resistance from his sister-in-law, Marion, who blames him for his wife’s death.
Many critics felt that the quality of stories in Taps at Reveille was inconsistent. They felt that Fitzgerald needed to focus his writing more and not get carried away with imagery and descriptions.
4. Frequently Asked Questions about Taps at Reveille
Which is the most popular story in Taps at Reveille?