Tender is the Night Book 1

3760 Words16 Pages
What impression do you gain of the subject matter, themes, and style of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender is the Night?” It has been said by Ruth Prigozy that, on the surface, “dreams, love, money and marriage” are the key materials for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. However, it soon becomes apparent that these themes serve simply as the medium through which the more dominant, complex subject matter, that discusses conflict, change, and superficiality, is introduced. One of the most striking aspects at the beginning of Tender is the Night, is the life of luxury and excess that Dick and Nicole Diver are shown to live. Fitzgerald’s first description of the Divers shows their enjoyment of life, describing their “burst of laughter” and Dick’s “hilarious” actions. On page 6, Dick’s ability to commandeer the attention of the entire beach, as well as Mrs. McKisco’s comments about “the plot” at the beginning of Chapter 2, show this enjoyable, care-free lifestyle of the Divers as something that was aspired to and was envied. Rosemary’s feeling that her swim with the Divers “would always pop into her memory at the mention of swimming” suggests the Divers are living more than the high life; they are, in fact, living the American dream. However, this life of luxury which is, on one hand, so seductive, is also shown to be excessive. Twice in Book 1, Nicole’s consumerist attitude and frivolity with money is demonstrated by Fitzgerald by listing the huge quantities of items she buys, “a dozen bathing suits, a rubber alligator, and travelling chess set…” Nicole’s attitude to shopping is shown to be pointless and shallow and suggests a sort of emptiness in her life. These passages are also very reflective of the attitude towards money that had recently emerged in America after World War One. The 1920s was a period of economic boom; technology and the stock market
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