"Babylon Revisited" is a story of atoning for past mistakes. Main character Charlie Wales visits Paris, the site of his former extravagant and self-destructive lifestyle, with newly sobered eyes, and is appalled at his former behavior. As the story progresses, the story of Charlie's past is slowly uncovered – revealing a troubled marriage, his wife's death, and Charlie's own alcohol-related breakdown almost two years earlier. Through the text, Fitzgerald asks whether a man can really change, whether it is really possible to atone for the past, and if so, how long will such atonement take.
Charlie's character is driven by guilt from the past, not by hope for the future.
Charlie's character is driven by hope for the future, not by guilt from the past.