The End of Dick Diver in Tender is the Night

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The novel, Tender Is the Night’ is a flawed masterpiece that has been recognized for its portrayal of the dazzling young physician, Dick Diver. Dick sacrifices his work and personal life to care for Nicole. The work of literature composed by Scott Fitzgerald is a novel about endings exemplifying the end of a generation when Dick’s father dies, the end of Dick and Nicole’s marriage as well as the end of Dicks career and reputation.

            The first thing that ends in the novel is the generation of Dick’s father, Mr. Diver, which is defined by a population that values decency and morality. Before his demise, the clergyman educates Dick on the importance of decency and provides him with the moral compass for acceptable behavior, “He told Dick all he knew about life… matters of behavior that came within his clergyman’s range” (Fitzgerald 300). When Mr. Diver, passes on, Dick pays homage and says goodbye to such perceptions when he visits the grave of his ancestors. Generally, the death of Dick's father symbolizes the end of a generation defined by complete responsibility and decency in the novel. The end of Mr. Diver's age marks the beginning of a new era marked by degeneracy and immorality, to which Dick belongs. The new generation implied that individuals such as Dick were to struggle and realize the consequences. In essence, the new generation is defined by materialism that has driven the major character, such as Nicole to psychosis, and Baby Warren to a state of self-absorption, and Dick to a tragic fall.

            The other significant ending is the end of Dick and Nicole’s marriage. The couple recognizes. Nicole recognizes that the couple cannot continue living a life of deception and difficulties, thereby suggesting a divorce (Fitzgerald 388). The failure of the marriage had different implications on both Dick and Nicole. The separation gave Nicole a sense of independence and has control over herself. She can finally live on her own, a fact that causes Dick to lose control. Nicole observes, "I've ruined you…"(Fitzgerald 388), a statement that reassures the reader of her new found strength. Dick, however, deteriorates to a point the audience can construe as suicidal. “..She had a sharp lesion of anxiety at seeing Dick standing in the angle by the flagstaff” (Fitzgerald 397). Nicole is worried and at this point seems to watch over Dick’s mental status. Therefore, the end of the marriage had a positive impact on Nicole but adversely affected Dick.

            Perhaps one of the most tragic endings in “Tender is the Night” is the end of Dick’s career and reputation. It is the divorce that ends Dick. Dr. Diver finds himself alone, without a wife and patient to rely on him. He is no longer significant, and thus, cannot be of much use to himself. As such, Dick finds himself detached and roams as though he were lost, unable to maintain a job or reside in one location for a very long time (Fitzgerald 458). The divorce mark’s Dick’s final shot in his downward spiral. As the novel comes to an end, Nicole compares Dick’s profession to “Grant’s in Galena” (Fitzgerald 459), a judgment that is suitable considering that Dr. Diver’s similar to Grant is both a commander leading the fight to uphold an ideal and a dishonored shadow of his previous self. Upon realizing that she can survive without Dick, Nicole finally sets free of him, an aspect that makes Dick, who at one point seemed so "kind and charming"now melt into obscurity (Fitzgerald 25).


Work Cited

Fitzgerald, Scott. Tender is the Night. Planet eBook., 1933.

November 24, 2023



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