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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. Additionally we see many people for the duration of the novel who have thoughts of affairs, actually carry out affairs, and those who just have abounding thoughts of affection for members of the opposite sex. Rosemary acquires fondness for many different men. Dick actually has an affair with Rosemary, and Nicole has an affair with Tommy Barban. This initiates the prevalent theme of affairs throughout the novel. In addition, the way Dick epitomizes a father figure to many women in the novel is a theme as well.
The central character in Tender is the Night, Dick Diver, starts out as someone whom we admire as a reader until his world falls apart in the end of the novel. Rosemary is infatuated with Dick in the beginning of the novel. Rosemary feels as if “Against his hard, neat brightness everything faded into the surety that he knew everything” (31). The characters in this novel are captivated by Dick’s mesmerizing personality; “to be included in Dick Diver’s world for a while was a remarkable experience” (27), “He won everyone quickly with an exquisite consideration and a politeness that moved so fast and intuitively that it could be examined only in its affect” (27-28). It is also expressed that “Dick’s attention seemed to paralyze” (33) McKisco while engaging in a conversation with him at one of his parties. But, this exalted version of Dick soon falls apart as the novel unfolds. In the beginning of the novel Dick entertains people and brings them much happiness but, towards the end, Dick himself reveals the fact that he now emerges as a “Black Death” and that he does not “seem to bring people happiness any more” (219). Moreover, Dick also seems to be losing his mind by the end of the novel, in all probability because of dealing with mental patients all his life as well as being married to one. This is affirmed when he goes to jail because of the fight he is involved in with an officer. He says when he is in jail that he wants to explain “how [he] raped a five-year-old girl” (235). Dick again brings to light that he is “not much like [himself] any more” (260) and Nicole believes that she has “ruined [him]” (267). It is even divulged that “everything [Dick] did annoyed [Nicole] now” (285). On top of all this it is revealed that Dick recurrently enjoys “a drink when it is not the moment to have one” (256). Dick has considerably changed throughout the course of the novel.
The theme of affairs and acquiring affection for other people seems to be a pandemic...

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