“He looked at her and for a moment, she lived in the bright blue worlds of his eyes, eagerly and confidently.”
Whilst one cannot directly refer to ‘Tender In The Night’ as being surely an autobiographical novel, the parallels between the lives of his character and of himself is almost overwhelming. His focus, as with most of his work, is the flaws of the rich upper class and aristocracy of the ‘roaring 20’s’.
The novel starts with a young actress Rosemary whom, on a trip to the French Riveria with her mother, becomes accompanied with Dick and Nicole Diver and their many friends. Rosemary immediately falls in love with Dick and they delve into a short lived affair. Fitzgerald then turns time back to the past before Dick and Nicole were married, we are made aware of Nicole’s history of childhood trauma and resulting from this, psychological struggle. The character of Nicole is highly similar to his wife Zelda who also suffered mental illness, it could be argued that perhaps Fitzgerald is enlightening us as to the struggles of loving a ‘broken’ person. Through affairs and distance between the Divers, the author could be criticising the shattered relationships hidden beneath the ‘ideal, respectable’ marriage shown to others within society of the time.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this novel, however I preferred ‘The Great Gatsby’. Hope to read more of his work over the summer, but so far I’d definitely recommend! 🙂