Tender Is the Night | Study Guide

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Tender Is the Night | Symbols



Most of the symbolism around gardens is shown in relation to Nicole. As her garden at Villa Diana grows and blooms, so does she. Her health emerges slowly, as blossoms open from their buds. Whenever she is working in her garden, she glows with happiness. And at the end of the book, when she comes to despise the hot, glaring world of the beach—the world Dick Diver created and once ruled over, just as he ruled over her life—she feels relief and a restoration of her health when she reaches her beloved gardens, leaving him behind.


Overuse of alcohol is a part of the characters' failure to live up to their own potential. When people in Tender Is the Night self-destruct, they turn to alcohol. The willingness to lose memory and control by drinking too much stands for giving up on life. Abe North and Dick Diver best exemplify this symbolism as their drinking contributes to one loss after another. But others have single instances of drinking when they are most unstable. Nicole wants brandy when she breaks down at the fair. Francisco drinks in an attempt to cope with his homosexuality. Lady Caroline Sibly-Biers drinks to excess because she does not care about social norms. Even Rosemary drinks champagne as she is giving in to the illicit love affair she has with Dick.


Money represents power, freedom, and safety in Tender Is the Night. People in the novel with money are automatically able to have these three things. They can buy what they want; they can buy their way out of sticky situations. They can even achieve a clear conscience by keeping their "good names" through enforced silence. People with money can live however they want, wherever they want.

Dick seems to understand the dangers associated with this much assurance tied up in money. For most of the novel he resists the lure of the apparent ease associated with a life of wealth and its attendant privileges. He rightly knows he will lose himself, his moral compass, if he succumbs to the lures of money. That is exactly what happens, once he stops resisting it. He unravels quickly after leaving his work at the clinic and allowing himself to spend without earning, to spend without caring how much, to dissipate in an idle lifestyle.

Questions for Symbols

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Please write a research paper on the Effects of Alcohol in America . Use only Academic sources, DO NOT USE GOOGLE! Please do not forget to list the citations -MLA format.
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