Babylon Revisited Essay

520 Words3 Pages
Chris Graves 10/14/10 Montgomery D Block Ambiguity Resolved by Diction and Tone The final passage of “Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is ambiguous because the diction provokes a tone of hopelessness even while Charlie refuses to have a second drink, a sign that a recovering alcoholic still has dreams for the future. Throughout the passage, the narrator uses specific diction in order to evoke a hapless tone which implies that Charlie has given up on his dreams for the future. Specifically, the tone of the final passage insinuates that Charlie has lost all hope of regaining custody of his daughter Honoria. Nevertheless, Charlie refuses a second drink when he returns to the bar. Because many recovering alcoholics return to alcoholism once their dreams are crushed, Charlie drinking responsibly suggests that he is looking ahead to the future. Yet the diction and the tone show that Charlie truly has given up on his dreams for the future. Fitzgerald repeatedly uses diction with a negative connotation in order to convey the idea that Charlie has lost all desire to achieve his goals for the future. The narrator describes the impact of a horrific memory of Charlie’s dark past: “Again the memory of those days swept over him like a nightmare” (Fitzgerald). A memory is the opposite of a dream. Because Charlie is focused on his memories and past, he is mindless of the future. The narrator portrays Charlie’s whiskey glass as, “empty”, and the sole word used to describe the way he feels is, “alone”. Both of these words have a depressing, negative connotation which implies that Charlie lacks the desire and motivation to keep himself focused on his future. Charlie feels as if his life has come to a halt, and that he has no sense of direction after being denied custody of Honoria: “There wasn’t much he could do now except send Honoria some things”. Without
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