* * * * * * * * *
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
-John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale"
A silent but unsettling darkness pervades the novel, Tender is the Night, the story of Dick Diver, a promising young psychologist who falls from fame as he lives with his wife Nicole Warren, a wealthy and beautiful schizophrenic patient.
The analysis of the novel would be incomplete if not seen side by side with the biography of the author, as Tender is the Night, just like most of Fitzgerald's works, is autobiographical as much as it is psychological. Looking into the novel, one would find a lot of parallels between the life of the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the lives of the characters, especially that of the Diver couple.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St Paul, Minnesota, and was sent to local Roman Catholic boarding schools. At Princeton University, instead of concentrating on formal study, he opted to receive his education from writers and critics. In 1917 he was commissioned to the army, and, while in training camps, wrote the novel This Side of Paradise (1920). While at a camp in Alabama, he fell in love with 18-year-old Zelda Sayre, who later became an integral figure in Fitzgerald's fiction, which paid for his and Zelda's extravagant society lifestyle.
In 1924 the Fitzgeralds left their Long Island home for Paris, where they met Gerald and Sarah Murphy, who took them to the French Riviera. Here Fitzgerald finished The Great Gatsby (1925). Although the novel is genera...
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... Tommy comes to take Nicole away, Dick gives her up without a fight. Nicole wins. Dick no longer has his patient, no longer has his wife. He leaves the Riviera and starts a new life in America, no longer the Dick Diver he once was.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Tender is the Night. New York: Charles Scribner's
Hjelle, Larry A. and Daniel J. Ziegler. Personality Theories, Third Edition.
Singapore: McGraw Hill, Inc., 1992
John, Oliver P. and Lawrence A. Perrin. Personality Theory and Research,
Eighth Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2001.
Poston, Carol H. Cliff Notes on Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. USA: Cliff Notes,
Ryckman, Richard M. Theories of Personality, Third Edition. California:
Wadsworth Inc., 1985.
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