Tender is the Night Book Response

1042 Words5 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 ...

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... she has never had a palpable father. Dick acts as that father when they are married and provides her with the same type of affection that a father would have for his daughter.

Dick’s transfiguration over time, affairs, and Dick’s embodiment of a father figure to women are all considerable themes of the novel. These themes help present to us the different aspects of this time period. Obviously during this time affairs were rampant among married individuals. Along with that we see how women of this time depended on men to some extent because of the way Dick is a father figure to many women. Furthermore, they help us see how Dick is affected by his job and we see how dealing with mental patients takes its toll on him over the course of time. Each of these distinct themes contributes to the understanding of the novel as a whole and greatly assists the reader.
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