Book 2 of "Tender is the Night"

Essay by ilnet2000 April 2007

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In book 2 of "Tender is the Night", the reader is able to get a better sense of Dick Diver and his “fall from grace.” We learn that Dick was not always wealthy nor the admirable person we thought he was. In the first book, which was written through Rosemary’s perspective Dick was portrayed as a socially adapt individual with good fortune. He was a “leader” and a person that one can truly rely on. The man that we see in this first chapter was a result of an impressive education (Yale) and a desire to go beyond one’s status in society. As we analyze the second book, we notice that Dick Diver’s perfect existence and manner was just a façade to conceal his true character.

As we read further into this book, we become conscious of how this man thinks and acts. I found it interesting that this man was looking for a purpose in his life and he found it in a woman that had no sense of purpose (Nicole).

This was a very bold move because he probably knew all the difficulties that would come with his decision. His life’s dream to be the greatest psychiatrist would fade because of this. (He could no longer finish his second book-and he lost his passion for his work)After Dick discovers that his beloved father had passed away, he eventually realizes the failure he has become. He even admitted to being a bad parent. This is also very tragic for Dick because his last tie with America had been severed. His father was all he had and now that he didn’t have him, he had no sense of identity.

His eventual “fall from grace” occurs when he beds Rosemary and seeks further pleasure from young girls. When his wife, Nicole uncovers his indiscretions she goes mad and even attempts to kill herself, her husband, and her kids while Dick was driving. As the story progresses, the reader will learn that as a result of Dick’s plight, Nicole will be cured. This portrayal of one person rising to the top while the other falters is very well illustrated in this book and I believe it is the central theme of this book.