Implications Of Modernist Thought In Tender Is The Night

1103 words - 4 pages

Implications of Modernist Thought in Tender Is the Night

 
   The implications of modernist thought in F. Scott Fitzgeralds' Tender Is the Night, become apparent when conceptualizing crime and punishment. Besides the murder of the Negro in the Parisian hotel, the idea of crime is plastic; adultery, deceit, moral depravity barely have consequences. Actions committed with good intentions often end in despair, such as the marriage of Dick and Nicole Diver. Similarly, seduction and dissimulation are not often met with ensuing punishment. Actions, whether they be morally right or wrong, tend to remain in a staid state without the traditional response. The modernists place characters in various moments and situations that do not necessarily conclude in the set conception of "punishment."

 

Nicole and Dick Diver both commit "crimes" of infidelity during their marriage. While Dick's tryst with Rosemary ceases without any succinct culmination, Nicole sleeps with Tommy and ends her marriage to elope with him. Neither crime however, is met with a punishment. While Dick slowly loses his manner of attraction and wiles with women, he sinks into apathy and alcoholism. Fitzgerald does not seem to be punishing Dick in any way for his fleeting romance with Rosemary; rather, his empty life is almost an inevitability, another set of moments without weighty cause or effect. Nicole's actual instant of infidelity is described as a "moment" - not as a crime, a moral dilemma or anything deserving traditional punishment. She drifts into her affair in the same way she tends to her garden or glances at her children. Her love for Tommy Barban is simply situational; Dick was no longer fulfilling her in the manner she expected and Tommy was in the right place to take the fall. "Struggling a little still, like a decapitated animal she forgot about Dick and her new white eyes, forgot Tommy himself and sank deeper and deeper into the minutes and the moment" (294). As she embraces Tommy in the hotel, the reader receives the sense that her lover could essentially be anyone. He loses all face and name and becomes another pawn, another performer within the "moment."

 

Dick's reaction to Nicole's adultery is completely devoid of accusation or punishment. His response to her confession is stoic and vacant. Her news could easily be about something entirely innocuous because his response elicits no inkling of condemnation or punishment. "ŒI went dancing last night - with Tommy Barban. We went - ' He winced, interrupting her. ŒDon't tell me about it. It doesn't matter what you do, only I don't want to know anything definitely'" (299). Although he winces at her story, he still insists on hearing nothing about the circumstances and claims to be emotionally detached from the "crime." Rosemary too, although she professes to her mother to be in love with Dick Diver, maintains a grave detachment from the actual ramifications of her ...

Find Another Essay On Implications of Modernist Thought in Tender Is the Night

The Descent of Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night Essays

1465 words - 6 pages The Descent of Dick Diver in Tender is the Night   Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald chronicles Dick Diver's long descent (or "dying fall," [Letters 310]) to ruin at the hands of women. Diver, the novel's protagonist and antagonist, seeks to overthrow feminine power. Dick needs to control the women in his life. To him, women want to be dependent; they are weak, lost souls who need the guidance only a man can give. In turn

Dick, Nicole and Tommy's Turnings in "Tender Is the Night"

1585 words - 6 pages In Tender Is The Night, Fitzgerald traces the lives of its three main characters: Dick and Nicole Diver, and Tommy Barban. Throughout the novel their tempers change, their lives turn to a different way and each one affects the other. At the beginning of the novel, book 1 presents us a perfect Diver family. Dick and Nicole Diver seem to be happy as if they were meant to each other: the perfect couple. We meet a pleasant and charming Dick

Tender Is the Night Parallels Fitzgerald’s Life

1142 words - 5 pages Tender Is the Night Parallels Fitzgerald’s Life Away! Away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! Tender is the night… -From “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats Charles Scribner III in his introduction to the work remarks that “the title evokes the transient, bittersweet, and

Tender is the Night Book Response

1082 words - 4 pages Fitzgerald accommodates various central themes throughout his novel Tender is the Night. In the novel we witness one of the main characters, Dick, regress from being a man of great social stature who is portrayed as an exalted person whom we idolize as a reader, to a man who loses everything and has his life decimated by the end of the novel. This constructs one of the foremost themes of the novel, Dick’s transformation over the course of time

Similar Themes found in The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1252 words - 5 pages Different books, despite different storylines, may still address similar themes. What similarities of themes did you find in your paired texts, and how are they obvious in the character's behaviour?       Throughout two of F Scott Fitzgerald's books, ‘The Great Gatsby' and ‘Tender is the Night', comparisons can be made between the themes that are dealt with in each book. These themes that are portrayed, include

Comparing the American Dream of The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night

2144 words - 9 pages appear to live the American Dream.  In F. Scott Fitzgerald?s novels, The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, the characters Daisy Buchanan and Nicole Diver give the appearance of a charmed existence, but it is in fact flawed. Their apparently perfect but actually flawed lives are shown in their childhood, their marriages, their adult lives and their past relationships.             Daisy Buchanan was raised in a wealthy American family, and had

Tender is the Night - Commentary Final.docx - UT Austin - Novels after 1920 - Essay

1699 words - 7 pages Flynn 2 Tender is the Night Commentary F. Scott Fitzgerald conceived the original idea for Tender is the Night in 1925 at the peak of the Roaring Twenties. The novel was not completed until 1930. World War One, the Great Depression and Fitzgerald’s wife’s hospitalization of schizophrenia attribute to the novel’s gothic undertones that are less apparent in Fitzgerald’s Modernist writing. The title originates from a John Keats poem “Ode to a

The Modernist Movement in the History of British Literature

1781 words - 8 pages proceed with the suicide.  The cold-hearted Hedda, motivated by the sheer boredom of her role in life and consumed by plotting others’ demise, declares to Brack, “’So I’m in your power now, Judge.  You have a hold over me from now on…Totally subject to your demands—And your will. Not free. Not free at all’” (The Norton Anthology of World Literature 909). Norseng observes that Sigmund Freud’s novice psychological school of thought is also made

Ivy Rowe's Ideas of the Past in Fair and Tender Ladies

860 words - 3 pages Ivy Rowe's Ideas of the Past in Fair and Tender Ladies In Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies, Ivy Rowe has a constant attachment to her past. This attachment is one of the main themes in the novel. It is one of her main reasons for letter writing and why she does some of the things that she does, because she does not want to lose her grip on her past. Ivy Rowe, in Lee Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies, uses letter writing to keep a hold of

A Light in the Darkness: Modernist Writing

1441 words - 6 pages during the modernist period. Ernest Hemingway's short story titled "A Clean Well-Lighted place" deals with the loneliness, isolation, and depression felt by many during the modernist period. The story takes place in a well lit café, occupied by two waiters (one old, and one young) and an old deaf man. This story is the perfect example of the modernist form because it questions the meaning of life. Joseph Gabriel, in is essay titled "The

Putting the "Mod" in Modern: Modernist Authors

1421 words - 6 pages Ezra Pound summed up modernism in three short words: “Make it new.” It is an imperative that his fellow writers applied to their own works, severing with the realists, whose concepts of narrative were less radical and more reader-friendly. Whether consciously or not, writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf applied Pound’s dictate by breaking with convention and applying a variety of innovative techniques. Two of the most telling methods are

Similar Essays

The Role Of Alcohol In Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night Essays

1132 words - 5 pages The Role of Alcohol in Tender is the Night      All of the main characters in Tender is the Night are wealthy enough that they can lead a life of leisure. One of the main activities of this lifestyle is drinking. Drunkenness causes and is the result of many negative things that happen to the characters. This is evidenced the most by the actions of Abe North and Dick Diver. The first time we meet Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's Tender is the

Distorted Perceptions In Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night

1662 words - 7 pages Distorted Perceptions in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night   Any visitor to the French Riviera in the mid-1920s, the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, would describe Dr. Richard Diver as a charming, respected, well-mannered physician. Dick is a noble man who has dedicated his life to the health and protection of his beloved wife without thought to himself. Furthermore, he gives wonderful parties and is a

Need For Control In Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night Essays

1011 words - 4 pages Need for Control in Tender is the Night   Dick Diver's love for his wife, Nicole, in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, is based purely on his need to assert control and act as care taker to her due to her illness. He assumes this role in order to feel validation for his own lack of achievement in his professional life. The only true success he can be credited is Nicole's 'cure,' achieved through his devotion and care; thus he

Decay In Tender Is The Night, By F. Scott Fitzgerald

2878 words - 12 pages Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934, Tender is the Night is a story about human decadence and the degeneration of love and marriage due to excess. Fitzgerald wrote his symbolic novel during the 1920s, the “Jazz Age” before the great depression- the time period that clearly indicated how living excessively and recklessly has serious and destructive consequences. The novel exemplifies some of the values and vices that are still present in