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Published: 24-09-2019

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Main Theme of "Tender is the Night" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Identity is “the qualities determining who or what a particular person or issue is” (Oxford Dictionary). Identity involves one’s sexuality, age, political views, religious beliefs, or something that shapes who they are. In Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, identity is a constant theme depicted throughout the life of Dick Diver. Throughout the novel, Diver tries to alter the path he initially set out for himself, in hopes of obtaining his lost identity. Dick Diver is a social climber bound to self-destruct. His feelings of restriction from familial obligations turn him into a self-proclaimed manque, in search of liveliness. This journey for sanity leads Diver down a dark road of alcoholism, incest, and lack of self-knowledge, ultimately causing him to remain at rock bottom.

In Tender is the Night, Dick Diver’s decisions shape his future and the individual he is. Distracted by society’s standards, his family’s standards and his own standard’s, Diver struggles to stay genuine. In a society “where the meaning of individual encounter is much more and more slipping away from the manage of the individual” (Broer), Diver makes some detrimental decisions, major to his present state. Decisions like choosing a college main and who Diver chooses to marry are considerable decisions. They’re decisions that Diver has to live with for the rest of their life and are not to be taken lightly. The consequences of these choices can lead to happiness or distress. It is obvious what the consequences were. Marrying a person since of their income or deciding on your future profession since of an desirable girl were not very good options. If Diver had believed more about what he genuinely wanted just before making irrational decisions his future would have turned out differently.

F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays Dick Diver’s feelings of pressure due to his obligation to be effective and societal pressures. Diver’s belief that in society, one’s image is sculpted by their ancestors’ status and their personal status, gets him into difficulty. He starts producing choices primarily based off of the reactions and opinions of these around him. This procedure only offers Diver short-term please and finish in emptiness. Diver wastes his time throwing parties and living an pricey life-style, and he does not realize that he is actually unhappy. Material goods and social status do not bring happiness, which is noticed additional on in Dick’s life. “The awareness of the myth of the self-made man was the greatest of American allusions…. Awareness of the reality did not permit a single to escape the truth on which it was premised” (Pitcher). Diver provides into this unrealistic notion of the American Dream, which promotes wealth and perfection. Due to this belief, “realizing that he is in reality not wealthy does a fantastic deal of harm to Dick’s idea of his living the American Dream” (Florida Atlantic University). It is an illusion. When we very first meet The Divers, they are a best example of the American Dream. This signifies they are each desirable, they have money, and they appear to be happy. Nevertheless, the American Dream is just a myth, and as the novel unfolds readers see that the Divers are far from best (Pitcher). The role of society and the influences it has on Dick’s thoughts cloud his identity at the starting of the novel. Despite the fact that Diver thinks that his artificial life at the beginning of the novel is his identity, we discover that Dick Diver honestly does not know who he is and feels lost without having material products and income. Diver learns that the opinions of others have no impact on a person’s correct identity.

Furthermore, Diver’s familial presumptions shift his identity and give him standards he feels obligated to reside up to. Diver’s main inspiration in his identity search is his father. Dick’s father embodies everything Dick wants to be and is described as “beyond any doubt of what he” (Fitzgerald 204). Diver’s father is a confident man, and like Diver, can occasionally be described as effective. Even so, Dick Diver’s father was also truthful a virtuous. These are qualities Dick could function on. Dick attempts to mimic his father however, he spends a lot more time pretending to be somebody he is not, than just being himself. This furthers his lack of self-identity simply because Diver is constantly attempting to mimic his father’s actions and traits. Dick can't locate his identity until he embraces himself.

When Dick Diver’s father dies, he feels even more stress to honor his legacy by getting a moral person (Stern). Even so, this only causes his habits to worsen. Dick becomes addicted to alcohol, leading to violence and destruction. The death of Dick Diver’s father completely modifications his possibilities of recovery and self-identification. Diver no longer acts as a paternal figure to Rosemary or Nicole, showing that he has completely lost his sense identity. Diver realizes at this moment that he can not handle his fate, saying “good-by all fathers” (Fitzgerald 204). He has completely lost any sense of hope. Furthermore, Dick Diver loses the chance to be effective and fails to do something right. He can't correctly treat sufferers, preserve a wholesome connection, or reside a virtuous life. Dick has lost any sense of who he was and has no chance of becoming “as great as he had intended to be” (Fitzgerald 204).

Dick Diver is incestuous and acts as a father figure in all of his romantic relationships due to lack of handle in his personal life. Diver enjoys controlling his partners, since to him, it affirms that he is strong and respected. “Diver undergoes a procedure of self-dissipation all through the novel: from a state of initial “all completeness” to an intermediary one particular in which we are told that “he still had pieces of his own most private self for everyone”(Fitzgerald, 139) and lastly to a total exhaustion, which is a form of inertness”(Stamatescu). Younger females are a lot more likely to accept this dominating energy because they are used to getting controlled by adults and parents. They also might be less knowledgeable and think that Diver’s urge to handle a partnership is normal. Obtaining this power makes Diver feel more beneficial as a person since becoming accountable for a person else and knowing that they rely on him fills the void of his own vulnerability. This is unhealthy for his nicely-getting and outcomes in loss of identity when these relationships fail.

Dick Diver enjoys becoming around younger girls since they have no duty and have the freedom to reside as they please. This explains Diver’s attraction to Rosemary. When Diver very first meets her, he describes her saying, “her body hovered delicately on the final edge of childhood—she was virtually eighteen, practically complete, but the dew was still on her.” (Fitzgerald three). Though it is slightly disturbing hearing Diver speak about a young lady in this manner, he describes his attraction to the qualities that make Rosemary youthful. He also notes that she still had dew on her, signifying her innocence and indicating that she was a virgin at the time. Additionally, Diver describes his daughter Topsy, as “nine and really fair and exquisitely created like Nicole…Dick had worried about that” (Fitzgerald 257) and compares Rosemary to his daughter. This shows how inappropriate and extreme Diver’s feelings are. He is even attracted to his personal daughter who is only a child. Dick Diver types relationships with young girls like Rosemary due to the fact he wishes he had the same opportunities that they have. Young people have the energy to develop their future, as opposed to Diver, whose future was determined when he married Nicole. By surrounding himself with younger men and women, Diver can watch them blossom and live freely. This makes Diver feel like he is young once more and is totally free from all of his burdens. This also distracts Diver from discovering his true self by producing a false sense of identity. Dick Diver will in no way be young again and accepting his age and location in life is a huge part of Diver’s identity that he need to come to terms with to be happy.

The twisted relationship of Dick Diver and his wife Nicole gave Diver a false sense of dependency that tarnished his identity. In retrospect, the arranged marriage was technically a way for Nicole to get the consideration she necessary due to her schizophrenia. Nonetheless, Nicole’s incestuous past and lack of self-assurance triggered her to turn out to be virtually completely dependent on her husband, who reminded her of her personal father. This created Dick Diver not only Nicole’s husband, but also her medical doctor and father figure. Nicole’s weakness and Dick’s feelings of significance are what preserve this relationship stable (Galioto). Dick and Nicole’s after strong bond was shown when he “left a note for Maria Wallis signed “”Dicole,” the word with which he and Nicole had signed communications in the 1st days of love” (Fitzgerald 113). At one particular point, the Divers have been so dependent on every single other that it was normal for them to combine their names, as if they had been one particular. Even so, as time went on, the marriage became strained and dishonest. The partnership became unenjoyable for Dick, and the lack of handle over Nicole reflected his lack of manage more than his own life. After Nicole started to become much more independent and confident with no Dick, the partnership became rocky.

Despite the fact that Dick felt trapped in his partnership with Nicole, his reaction to her decision to leave him was slightly unexpected. Even although he was not totally satisfied in their partnership, it was not simple for Dick to recognize that not only did Nicole not want him any longer, but she also no longer necessary him for assistance. This sudden lack of handle over Nicole reflected Diver’s lack of handle over his own life. Dick Diver’s attempt to save his marriage with Nicole was his final try at gaining some type of energy in his life. Nicole’s option to marry Tommy Barban showed Dick Diver that she had control more than her life, one thing Diver was desperate for.

The Diver’s divorce changed the identities of both Dick and Nicole. Via their separation, Dick lost a lot more of his identity, whereas Nicole discovered her identity. Dick lost the belief that he was essential to an individual and could act as the hero or father figure. Because of this, he falls into a depression, and even Nicole tells him “You’ve produced a failure of your life” (Fitzgerald 334) This contributed to Dick Diver’s loss of role in his family members and society. Even so, Nicole found her identity by means of her separation from Dick. This separation proved Nicole’s strength to herself and other individuals. She ultimately felt like an independent, self-adequate, and valuable woman. Formerly, Nicole had felt as though “every word had seemed to have an overtone of some other which means, quickly to be resolved below situations that Dick would determine” (Fitzgerald 280). Now that Nicole is no longer relying on Dick, she can kind her personal thoughts and opinions and live a life accurate to herself. Freeing herself from Dick Diver’s restraint means that Nicole can reside without the burden of their relationship. She can personally develop in the healthy connection she deserves.

Dick Diver’s rejection of the belief that every person’s fate is inevitable alters his worldview. It is clear that Diver’s future was not what he expected by any implies. Though Dick Diver felt effective at instances as a result of his family status and his significance to weak girls in unhealthy relationships, Diver could not deal with his fate. Diver became a perfectionist, trying to change his destiny in hopes of avoiding surprises or unhappiness. Nevertheless, Diver could not release the notion that it is impossible to completely control your future. Every single choice, action, feeling, and decision is inevitable. As Dick’s life begins to adjust, his struggle to hold on to the previous becomes not possible, and he feels as if he has completely lost his identity. Eventually Dick cannot quit his self-destruction until he can grow to be less controlling. By the time he realizes this, it is already too late.

Dick Diver was bound to ruin his reputation and social perfection because of his attempts to alter his fate. Although attempting to become a flawless member of society, Diver ruins his job, marriage, friendships, and in turn, his identity. Not only does Diver destroy every single worthwhile factor in his life, but he also ruins his sense of safety in life and pride. Diver suffers numerous consequences and loses the likelihood to turn into the virtuous, respected man he dreamed of getting. Diver’s act of perfection becomes faulty when people begin to see who he genuinely is. Since he has lost his identity, Diver’s public failure transforms him into a person new. Diver’s confusion about life makes his identity jumbled and unclear. He lost his sense of self and is a fully changed person from the Diver we have been very first introduced to at the beginning of the novel.

Alcohol acts as a distraction that keeps Dick Diver from coping with his identity. Diver drinks massive amounts of alcohol to match in with society and uses it to numb his feelings of be concerned. Dick’s comprehensive hopelessness and want to be apart of society causes him to be reckless and excessive. Dick turns into an alcoholic, totally altering how he is noticed by society. Diver becomes far more violent and pitiful. Diver goes from a put with each other man that does not drink to an uncontrollable drunk. He allows alcohol to take more than his identity and define who he is.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, Dick Diver struggles to find his identity. Throughout the novel, Diver is continuously distracted by personal and communal obstacles. He struggles to keep away from succumbing to society’s stress to be perfect, even though navigating by way of divorce, affairs, and alcoholism. Fitzgerald makes use of identity as a theme, stressing that loss of identity can cause loss of sanity, which Diver clearly displayed. Via his struggle to uncover himself, Dick Diver slips into bad habits, becoming controlling and unrealistic. These qualities turn into apart of his identity, and ultimately, Diver shows how very easily a person’s identity can slip away.
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