This Side of Paradise examines the lives and morality of American youth in the aftermath of World War I and explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking. Amory Blaine is an attractive student at Princeton University who tries to keep a long distance relationship with his beloved Isabelle Borgé and writes her ever more flowery poems.
But inevitably, Amory and Isabelle become disenchanted with each other after meeting again at his prom. Following their break-up, Amory is shipped overseas to serve in the army in World War I where he serves as a bayonet instructor. After the war, Amory comes back ready to fit in the society, search for love and continue his life, but keeps running into obstacles.