Course Hero. "Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Nov. 2017. Web. 24 Feb. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Babylon-Revisited-And-Other-Stories/>.
Course Hero. (2017, November 29). Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved February 24, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Babylon-Revisited-And-Other-Stories/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories Study Guide." November 29, 2017. Accessed February 24, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Babylon-Revisited-And-Other-Stories/.
Course Hero, "Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories Study Guide," November 29, 2017, accessed February 24, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Babylon-Revisited-And-Other-Stories/.
They died for the most beautiful thing in the world—the dead South.
At the cemetery in Tarleton, Georgia, Sally Carrol Happer explains her emotions about the fallen heroes of the Confederacy to her beau, Harry Bellamy, who is from the North. As is so typical in Fitzgerald's fiction, Sally Carrol has built a mental and emotional myth about the Civil War in her head. This romantic myth has little to do with reality, but it strongly propels Sally Carrol's actions and reactions in the story.
As she said this she had the feeling ... she was acting a part.
At the start of her visit to Harry Bellamy's hometown up North, Sally Carrol Happer responds to Harry's prompt for praise, yet Fitzgerald plumbs the doubts that are already awakening within her. She feels far from comfortable in her beau's milieu.
Never had there been such splendor in the great city, for the victorious war had brought plenty.
The opening of the short story "May Day" serves both as exposition and as a rich example of Fitzgerald's prose style. The "great city" is New York, where the tale is set. The "victorious war" is World War I. The story unfolds on May 1, 1919, a little less than six months after the end of the war. The paragraph goes on to describe a conflict in which millions died (mostly in Europe) in commercial terms, with a typically Fitzgerald-like catalog of costly goods being snapped up by merchants and their families.
In that instant they quite suddenly and definitely hated each other.
In Fitzgerald's fiction, money motivates competition, triggers envy and violence, signals status, lubricates social relations, and buys culture and respect, but it almost never satisfies. When Philip Dean almost condescendingly offers his old friend Gordon Sterrett a petty handout, it symbolizes arrogance, contempt, and defiance rather than compassion.
Key, a name hinting that in his veins, however thinly diluted by ... degeneration, ran blood of some potentiality.
The quotation exemplifies Fitzgerald's habitual tendency in his fiction to pigeonhole characters according to their names, physical appearance, heritage, and social position. Perhaps it is not coincidental that Carrol Key's surname is the same as Fitzgerald's ancestor and namesake, the Francis Scott Key who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814. Note the loaded connotations of such words as veins, diluted, degeneration, and blood. Fitzgerald is expert at describing many of his characters as racists, snobs, and materialists.
My father is by far the richest man in the world.
This sweeping boast turns out to be true, for Percy Washington's forebears, descended from none other than George Washington, have discovered a diamond that dwarfs all other diamonds. However, the Washington family encounters difficulty in converting their treasure into true wealth.
I think that sophisticated young people are terribly common, don't you? I'm not at all, really.
The dialogue between John T. Unger and Kismine Washington is notable for both thematic and stylistic reasons. John sounds patronizing, rather than complimentary, in his praise of Kismine as "sophisticated." Packed into Kismine's rejoinder is a bundle of emotions: snobbery, disingenuousness, and melodrama. Hovering over the exchange is Fitzgerald's authorial smile.
Braddock Washington was offering a bribe to God!
This scene epitomizes the idolatry of wealth Fitzgerald so often portrays in his fiction.
Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.
John T. Unger's statement touches on the important themes of vain dreaming and fleeting youth in Fitzgerald's fiction.
He had wanted Judy Jones ever since he was a proud, desirous little boy.
The quotation, which refers to Dexter Green, sums up the yearning nature of many of Fitzgerald's characters. All too often they long for things or people that lie beyond their capacity to attain.
This quotation poignantly sums up Dexter Green's feelings of frustration, grief, and loss. He is unable to name the "something" that has vanished and can't vent his emotions. Fitzgerald's use of repetition is especially effective in the closing sentences of the story.
Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.
This quotation is an iconic statement about the wealthy crowd Fitzgerald loved to portray in his fiction.
Most of our lives end as a compromise—it was as a compromise that his life began.
Fitzgerald is often capable of pithy statements, as in this comment on the life of Anson Hunter.
They couldn't make him pay forever ... Helen wouldn't have wanted him to be so alone.
This section of interior monologue closes the story "Babylon Revisited." It gives us insight into the poignant, self-pitying inner thoughts of Charlie Wales. He has failed to regain custody of his daughter, Honoria, several years after the death of his wife, Helen. A former alcoholic and spendthrift, Charlie has not persuaded his sister-in-law he is worthy to resume his role as a father.