.. oward death. Gatsby places absolute importance on his love and possible relationship with Daisy. Although Diver never really seems to express the same obvious undying love for Nicole that Gatsby appears to feel for Daisy, his demise also begins with the breaking down of his already dysfunctional relationship. In the way that Gatsby had created Daisy in his mind, Dick created Nicole as her psychologist, and he delights in her progress. However, she is his creation, and the signs that he is losing control of his creation help send him spiralling downward.
The stronger Nicole grows, the less she needs Dick, and eventually she leaves. Although this seems negative, the Divers relationship was never balanced, Dick controlled Nicoles mind through his psychology, and Nicole controlled his life through her money. Nicole owned Dick, who did not want to be owned, and this control gave a very disturbing edge to their relationship. A possibly even more disturbing element of Dick and Nicoles marriage are the two roles he plays husband and healer. The dualism of his views of hers that of the husband, that of the psychiatrist was increasingly paralysing his faculties. Dick, once so brilliant at playing either of those roles (he was known as a brilliant psychiatrist) now cannot apply either to Nicoles situation, and neither his love not his academia can help her.
She has worn him down too much, and there is a definite element of truth when she says, some of the time I think its my fault Ive ruined you. It is interesting to note that Dick, a brilliant psychiatrist, does choose Nicole, a patient. There is her obvious beauty and charm, but Dick realises the complications of the situation. Why does he let himself marry Nicole, a marriage in which the difficulty of his role is clear? The answer must reside in Dicks innate love of order, and his need to be in control of situations, whether they are parties, patients, or even his own marriage. The terrible irony is that Dick does not control Nicole, but Nicole Dick, with her illness which he has to tend, and her money which he needs.
Both Dick and Gatsbys tragic endings are closely linked to their failed love. Neither Gatsby nor Dick manage to survive in the world that Fitzgerald has portrayed. Both also lose their dignity to some extent, Gatsby by being found lying in a swimming pool, and then by an unattended funeral; Dick by fading into the obscurity of a GP in New York State, never managing to settle in one place. Which of these two endings seems to have more dignity? Gatsbys final ending is undignified, being in a swimming pool his house being defaces, but this is short term, and Fitzgerald does not let this be our last picture of Gatsby, instead ending with the epic vision of the future, of boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Gatsby does not leave friends behind, he leaves a legacy (One of the taxi drivers in the village never took a fare past the entrance gate without stopping for a minute and pointing inside), and an impact on Nick Carraway that was so great that he was compelled to write about him. Gatsby also dies spiritually intact (his dream must have been so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it).
He knew that he had lost Daisy, but he probably did not know the true extent of his loss, with his apparently unending capacity for hope. Gatsbys death was the result of a revenge for the death of Myrtille Wilson, but it was Daisy who killed her, not Gatsby. The extent of his love for Daisy results in his death, and he dies with his dream. Diver does not die, but is almost buried alive. He loses his wife, therefore his money, and also his reputation.
He leaves behind his existence on the Riviera to forge ahead on his own. It appears that Tommy forces Diver out, but before Tommy suggested anything to Dick, it is evident that this relationship with Nicole was over. The case was finished. Doctor Diver was at liberty. This is the culmination of a social fall from the very peak of society to being mocked, and being seen as a dissipated doctor who is not received anywhere anymore.
Divers social fall should be compared to Gatsbys as to see which is the more dignified and heroic. One key part is the element of control. Gatsby did not have control of the car which killed Mrs Wilson and he did not have control of Mr Wilson, who shot him. Therefore one can suggest that of the forces which led to Gatsbys demise, Gatsby played a passive role, and events were to blame, and not him. Of course, he should not have let Daisy drive, but how could he have known what was to follow? The timing of Gatsbys demise is also important it all takes place within twenty four hours from Daisy telling Gatsby that she did love Tom, and Tom revealing Gatsbys past, to Mr Wilson shooting Gatsby. This short space of time leads even more to the idea that Gatsby cannot be held responsible for his death, but to a certain extent, Dick can be held responsible for his demise.
It is apparent from the end of Book Two in Tender is the Night, when Dick hears of his fathers death, that he is losing control of himself and events. He meets Rosemary and the McKiscos on the ship, and Rosemary says, oh, such a shame. Whats it all about anyhow? .. Why bring it to me? to which Diver replies, I guess Im the Black Death. I dont seem to bring people happiness anymore.
This conversation shows how even Dick himself is aware of his fading talents, but there is a sense of confusion within Dick, that he doesnt even know what to do about it. Dick is finally being tested, and failing. One of Dicks main problems is his alcohol intake, which becomes more and more apparent to people, such as Franz Gregory and Tommy, who says that Dick is not a person who should drink. Dicks drinking began as a social exercise, but grows and grows until it controls him. As a result of Dicks failures, both socially, professionally, and with Nicole, Dick drinks more and more, but he does not feel out of control (Dick blamed himself only for indiscretion).
It is the incident with Morris who accused Dr Diver of drinking whilst on duty that brings about an end to Dicks psychiatric career, but even after this, Dick continues to drink excessively whilst with Nicole on the Riviera. Alcohol is symbolic of a world that Dick cannot control, but still wishes to be a part of. Society moves on and changes, and Dick cannot keep up. Fitzgerald uses alcohol as a mechanism that highlights Dicks demise, and its inherent links with society. Dick turns to drink as he loses faith in himself, Nicole, and society in general.
This loss of faith means that Diver drifts away into nothing, and fades from view. Our last image of him is in the distance, out of focus, fading into nothing. He has gone from being at the height of social order to a social drop out in a society where money, alcohol and social excess are the norm, but where he cannot keep up. Gatsby and Diver live in fast moving, chaotic societies, where morals are bent and ideal broken. Fitzgerald has not created in either man an obvious hero, as both men are presented as having many faults, but I think that it is fair to say that they are heroes, despite their drawbacks. They are both romantics in an unromantic world. Both these characters are seen as old fashioned in a swiftly changing America. However, Fitzgerald seems to applaud these characteristics, by portraying the other characters in a more negative light. The only other character with these novels who could be seen as heroic is Nick Carraway, and some see him, and not Gatsby, as the hero of his novel.
However, Carraway himself feels that Gatsby is great, mainly on account of his extraordinary gift for hope. This hope sets Gatsby apart from everyone else Nick has ever encountered, and despite Gatsby representing everything which I have an unaffected scorn, this idea of hope remains the most prominent and absolute. Gatsby cannot be seen as heroic in the traditional moral sense he made his fortunes from bootlegging, he involves himself with unscrupulous characters such as Meyer Wolfshiem, and befriends Nick and Jordan not because he likes them, but on account of their link with Daisy. But despite all this, and the half-scornful, half-admiring descriptions we receive dorm Nick, we still believe in Gatsby, and Gatsbys character, because of his capacity for hope and love. There is also something admirable about the way Gatsby did progress from being a nobody to a millionaire, epitomising the American Dream.
However, Fitzgerald does not shy away from showing that America does have classes within society, and Gatsby, despite his newfound riches, will never be able to become a part of the society in which he lives. Like Diver, he finds himself on the outside looking in. Diver, like Gatsby, has heroic qualities, but he does not have strong enough a character not to be dragged down by the society in which he lives. Essentially, Diver is a good man. He has a desire to please others, to help, and to love.
These are certainly admirable qualities. I think that Fitzgerald has created in Tender is the Night a novel in which the best character, or hero, is dragged down by the force that society exerts on him. It is the breaking down of a good character to become a shadow of his formal self. The hero in *censored* struggles against these changes, but, ultimately, he succumbs. Dick is not as heroic as Gatsby, and I think that Fitzgerald intended Dick to be seen as lacking compared to Gatsby, because he lacks the hope that Gatsby has.
He sees that he has been defeated, and doesnt fight as hard as he could to recover himself. However, this seeming lack of will power could be seen as a measure of just how much society has taken a toll upon Dicks character. Gatsby can be seen as great, but Dick, unfortunately for him, falls somewhat short of this accolade, and instead can be seen as a good man who has been broken. Gatsby, with all his powers of hope and dreams, can be viewed as an unfortunate man, but there is also the idea that Gatsby can be perceived as more than a character, but as a symbol of America. Fitzgerald originally wanted to call the book Under the Red, White and Blue, bringing in the definitive image of the American flag.
Certainly, Fitzgerald is very concerned with the state of America within his novel, and I think that Gatsby himself represents American ideals under a great amount of pressure from changing times. America is said to be a classless society, yet Fitzgerald shows a world of many class distinctions, highlighted by the differences between Tom Buchanan and George Wilson. Gatsby can never be at ease with Tom either, because of the divisions of class between them, despite living in the New World, where every man is equal. Fitzgerald realises that despite the U.Ss supposed self-assurance, she still looks East toward Europe for approval. This is symbolized by the shirts that Gatsby has imported, and his Rolls Royce, both of which are seen as symbols of quality and wealth.
Post-war America cannot remove the influence that Europe has, and create her own society. Europe features even more strongly in Tender is the Night. The Divers live in Switzerland and France, and whilst it is hard to see whether Dick represents America itself, the novel has an American theme, and concerns American people and American ideals. Occasionally, the novel mocks the America abroad, who do not have the same repose that Europeans seem to have, but Diver himself believes in America (Its American Dick believes in it). In Tender is the Night Fitzgerald seems to be examining the role of the American abroad, and he seems to suggest that at this particular moment in time, Americans are not ready to live in Europe.
They have not developed enough confidence and self-belief to be comfortable once taken out of their own setting, and frequently become lost or out of control. Europe has a different way of life from America, and requires different attitudes. Fitzgerald notes that the American attitude is not compatible with the European way of life. It is also interesting to note that many psychiatric patients come to Europe to be cured, a sign that America still looks to Europe for reassurance and care, despite military success in the war. Although America may be bigger and stronger that Europe, Europe is still seen as more mature and refined, and the movement of American culture to Europe only brings chaos and disorder. A strong feature of American culture is the American Dream, which features strongly in The Great Gatsby.
The American Dream can be seen in two ways that it represents the limitless possibilities at what America means, and that she is free from any limits set by past experiences, or that ones self is equated with ones wealth, and that freedom and possibility come only with money. Gatsby seems to aspire to both ideas, but it is the belief in the first that makes him great. Gatsby has tried to recreate himself, and has shedded his past, in the way that America has tried to shed her European past and influence. Fitzgerald takes his idea of the tow interpretations of the American Dream, and presents it in a paradoxical fashion, in that the material success that Gatsby has achieved means that his belief in the ideal will fail. Presenting America and the American Dream in this manner demonstrates Fitzgeralds fading belief in his country and its values.
Diver is representative of the middle-class American becoming rich, and again failing to settle in a society with definite class divisions. Diver works hard, and is talented, and, subscribing to the American ideal, he should succeed in life, but he does not. Divers eventual riches do not come from his hard work, becomes less interested in his job, thanks to his marriage, and drifts, because he did not believe in the ideal. Again and again, Fitzgerald underlines the importance of faith and hope, without which America and the American Dream mean nothing, and it is impossible to survive without. Diver and Gatsby can both be seen as the failure of the American Dream, and thus that the America that was supposed to be a place where everything is possible, where freedom and liberty come above all else, is failing herself. In Jay Gatsby and Dick Diver F.
Scott Fitzgerald has presented us with tow men who should not fail, who, if there is any justice in the world, should succeed in what they do. However, they do not. Granted, they are not perfect, but they are more heroic and noble that the other characters they are surrounded with. The reason they do not survive is because they are old-fashioned men, with old fashioned, romantic ideals, and they are destroyed by the cruelty and superficiality of modern America. Fitzgerald does not paint a very reassuring picture of his home country, and these two novels display his personal fears about American society. Tender is the Night and The Great Gatsby are two novels grasping the mood of the moment, and Gatsby and Diver are two men who cannot keep up.