Distorted Perceptions in Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night Essay

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Distorted Perceptions in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night Any visitor to the French Riviera in the mid-1920s, the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, would describe Dr. Richard Diver as a charming, respected, well-mannered physician. Dick is a noble man who has dedicated his life to the health and protection of his beloved wife without thought to himself. Furthermore, he gives wonderful parties and is a reliable source of help to any friend in need. In fact, "to be included in Dick Diver's world for a while was a remarkable experience" (Fitzgerald, Tender, 27). Under this façade of composure, however, lies a tormented personality. The stresses in Dick's life are numerous, as he deals with Nicole's…show more content…
Later, while on the shore with his family, Dick decides to attempt a foolish trick involving a speed boat, inspired by "the closeness of Rosemary's exciting youth" (282). This desperately insecure need for external validation is characteristic of a prepubescent level of maturity which Dick surely should have overcome long ago. As his descent continues, Dick is even less convincingly able to act like the mature professional. He gets drunk more frequently and is involved in a violent fight with some taxi drivers, and later he inadvertently insults Mary North's in-laws, showing he has lost some of his previously impeccable manners. Even his "mentally ill" wife can see the results of his behavior, telling him, "You're a coward! You've made a failure of your life and you want to blame it on me" (301). Dick has seemingly given up on acting like a grown-up and all of its difficulties in favor of a more immature, morally ignorant lifestyle. Not only does Dick Diver's longing for youthful innocence show in his own youthful behavior, but also in his attraction to much younger women, both paternally and sensually. His relationships with Rosemary, his children, Nicole, and others reflect almost incestuous motives, a result of Dick's fascination with immaturity (Stanton, 118). Starting with relatively unimportant evidence, it is reported that after the divorce, Dick moved to upstate New York and

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