In his novel, Tender is the Night, Scott F. Fitzgerald portrays sudden love as an element of self-destruction. Dick Diver, a robust psychologist, falls victim to unforeseen love with his patient, Nicole. Ultimately, the commitment he establishes with her obliterates his social status and moral well-being. Dick, attempting to cure Nicole's mental illness, finds himself taken by her as he looses his ambition for personal success and satisfaction.
Prior to treating Nicole, Dick was known as a classical social charmer. His personal aspirations included becoming the " best psychologist in the world." Dr. Dohmler, Nicole's child psychologist, explains Nicole's psychological problems, elucidating her fear of men. Nicole, who had been sexually abused by her father as a child, struggles with insanity as a result. Dick seemed to display a positive impression upon Nicole when meeting with her the first few times, subsequently he and Dr. Dohmler decide that Dick should take on Nicole as a patient.
Unbeknownst to him however, Dick falls in love with Nicole and marries her. Marking a drastic turning point in his life, Dick's focus alters from achieving scholarly success to caring for his mentally ill wife.
Although Nicole has made considerable improvement of her condition, the birth of their children sends her back into depression. The book Dick wrote prior to their marriage was published (afterwards) and sold quite well. However, he has since become preoccupied with their travels (around Europe) and Nicole's increasing depression that his intellect has dulled. This pains him because he ceases to be the writer he once was. As a last resort to reach any level of scholarly success, he accepts Dr. Gregory, an old friend's, invitation to open a psychiatric clinic.
Dick's final hopes for success are lost the evening that Nicole completely relapses into...