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Themes Of "Babylon Revisited" Essay

1614 words - 6 pages

In general, human beings have the tendancy to make mistakes, but they must remember that no matter how far below they have gone, they can always find help when looking back to good morals and what is really important in life. For example, a criminal who has just served a ten- year sentence can seek farther to find decency and virtue and amend his past actions. Montag, a character from Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451, makes up for his terrible past of book burning by becoming a book himself, memorizing one word for word to share with others. Just as Bradbury has done with Montag, Fitzgerald is able to make his character Charlie, in "Babylon Revisited, demonstrate to the reader the importance of making up for past mistakes.In "Babylon Revisited" Fitzgerald is able to display the character Charlie Wales, the protagonist in the story, as having an overall good heart. He shows weakness in his reminiscent and regretful personality while he shows strength in his amenable and determined personality. He does this through Charlie's thoughts, his actions, and his words to others.One of Charlie's lines that Fitzgerald uses to show how Charlie misses the old is when Charlie says, "Remember the night of George Hardt's bachelor dinner here? By the way, what' become of Claude Fessenden?" (Babylon Revisited and Other Short Stories, 210). What the author is doing here is showing the reader that Charlie still needs closure on his past. He was a reckless man a few years back and feels like he needs to be reminded of those crazy times he had. For some reason, Charlie has an underlying desire to go back to those old times before his recklessness caused his life to take a turn for the worse. There comes a time in the story when Charlie does not want to be reminded of some of the regretful actions he had committed. When "Charlie gripped the sides of the chair"( Babylon Revisited and Other Short Stories, 215 ) after another character brought up how Charlie locked his wife out of the apartment one night, he is showing his regret. Fitzgerald writes, "This was more difficult than he expected, he wanted to launch out into a long expostulation and explanation but he only said, "˜The night I locked her out ---.'" (Babylon Revisited and Other Short Stories, 215 ). This shows the reader that yes, Charlie feels terrible for doing that, but shows that he has a strength for being able to control his at one time very short temper. William J. Brondell, a critic of Fitzgerald's work , identifies with this when he called to attention, "Clearly every contact with the past seems to dampen Charlie's spirits or to cloud his expectations, or to defeat his hopes." ("Structural Metaphores in Fitzgerald's Short Fiction." Ed. ). At the end of the story, Charlie thinks to himself, "He would come back some day; they couldn't make him pay forever. But he wanted his child, and nothing was much good now, beside that fact."( p. ,Babylon...

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