Scott Fitzgerald's Character Dick Diver From Tender Term Paper

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Scott Fitzgerald's character Dick Diver from "Tender is the Night" takes on characteristics of both Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway from "The Great Gatsby." Two sources. MLA.

Character Analysis of Dick Diver

Scott Fitzgerald was a mosaic of the characters he created. Fitzgerald, himself, can be found in Jay Gatsby, Nick Callaway, and Dick Diver. His own personal history reflects those he gave his characters, drinking habits, social status, and affluence (Brief pg). The life style of the 1920's in Paris is one that Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda experienced and is woven into his novel "Tender is the Night." Fitzgerald's stories often reveal the lives of the 'have's and 'have nots,' the lifestyle and near decadence of the rich compared to the common middle classes (Brief pg). Moreover, Fitzgerald always seems to distinguish between the 'old money' and the 'new,' the aristocrats and the nouveau rich. His writings reflect his awareness of his own middle class status and his struggle to overcome humble beginnings. Fitzgerald seems to model his 'old money' characters after Zelda's family and acquaintances, the comfortably rich, accustomed to protocol for all occasions (Brief pg). A theme that rings in most of Fitzgerald's work is one of inevitable truth. That no matter how successful one becomes, no matter how much money one may earn, no matter how well one learns to use the power of money and status, the true self inevitably surfaces sooner or later. Jay Gatsby, Nick Callaway, and Dick Diver all experience this moment of truth when they can no longer deny who and what they are.

Fitzgerald's character, Dick Diver, in "Tender is the Night," is a Yale graduate just as his character, Nick Callaway in "The Great Gatsby," is a Yale grad. Diver shows the same strengths in the beginning of the novel that Nick possesses. Both are educated, compassionate, and dedicated to achieving success in their chosen fields. Both demonstrate the care-taker role, often the confidant, often the one who cleans up the messes in the lives of those around them. Diver becomes Nicole's protective parent as well as her husband, always there for support and nurturing through her bouts with insanity. He is also the one others turn to for help when they are in trouble, such as when he helps his friend Abe when Abe is beaten and robbed. Then again he helps him and Rosemary by removing the dead body from Rosemary's room and smoothing things over with the hotel managers. Diver displays all the competence of a mature man, able to cope crisis and misfortune. His relationship with his wife also displays a sense of valor and chivalry, protecting her from herself and her past, he never betrays her personal torments to anyone, even in the face of one of her screaming spells. Diver always maintained an even keel, acting as if all was normal and well in the world. This attitude not only saved Nicole from embarrassing facts being made public, but it also gave a sense of comfort to those around them, such as guests who may have overheard Nicole screaming, saving them too from the embarrassment of confrontations. Callaway too, handled himself in much the same way, always the confidant and the one to make others at ease with themselves. Although, perhaps somewhat younger and more naive than Diver, Callaway demonstrated the ability to handle himself in awkward situations, seeming to smooth things over for all concerned. Both men were perceptive of human character.

Both Diver and Callaway share the bond of being in love with a woman that is rather unattainable. Diver is in love with Rosemary, a flirtatious young starlet and Callaway is in love with Jordan Baker, a sophisticated young woman of social status. Both men are smitten with their lovers to the point of melancholy and depression, a mental state that leads both to heavy drinking and social faux pas.

Diver and Callaway both find their way back to their true selves through the course of the novels. Diver loses everything, his practice, his wife, and his lover. Callaway witnesses the inner social circle of the elite and comes to terms with his own self-worth. The irresponsibility and egotism of the rich appalls Callaway in the end. Both Diver and Callaway…[continue]

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