The Role of Alcohol in Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night Essays

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The Role of Alcohol in Tender is the Night

All of the main characters in Tender is the Night are wealthy enough that they can lead a life of leisure. One of the main activities of this lifestyle is drinking. Drunkenness causes and is the result of many negative things that happen to the characters. This is evidenced the most by the actions of Abe North and Dick Diver. The first time we meet Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night he is "going from umbrella to umbrella carrying a bottle and little glasses in his hands"(Fitzgerald, 11). From that point on there is alcohol involved in almost every scene.

The first time that alcohol played a major role was in the duel between Tommy Barban and Mr. McKisco. McKisco
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Rosemary did not use alcohol the same way that Dick and Abe did. She used it to fit into the group and as an excuse for her behavior when she told Dick to "take (her)" (Fitzgerald, 64). That was what she meant by equipment. She knew that she could not do such a thing sober, but if she were drunk it could be excused. Rosemary used alcohol as a tool to get what she wanted; she did not use it as an escape from reality like Dick and Abe.

When Dick Diver first appeared, his first impression on Rosemary affected her so deeply that she went and told her mother, "I fell in love on the beach"(Fitzgerald, 12). His presence made a strong impact on those around him. At the end, it was only known through rumors that he was probably in some part of New York. Alcohol played a major role in his fall from the center of attention. In all of Book 1, Dick was mainly seen through the eyes of Rosemary. She saw him as her savior when he saved her from having to deal with the ramifications of having the dead Negro found in her room. In Book 2 we began to see that Dick was a broken man. Since the time that he married Nicole, he had "lost himself"( Fitzgerald, 201).

The pivotal scene that made Dick's fall from grace so apparent was when he was drunk and got into the fight with the cab driver. Drunken brawls were inappropriate, especially for someone of his social standing. After Baby Warren had to bail him out of

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