Babylon Revisited Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Fitzgerald wrote in a letter to his editor: "You see, I not only announced the birth of my young illusions in This Side of Paradise but pretty much the death of them in some of my last Post stories like 'Babylon Revisited'" (source: Some Sort of Epic Grandeur). After reading "Babylon Revisited," what do you make of this comment? What might these "young illusions" might be, and where do you see their "death" in this story?
- Consider the five-part formatting of "Babylon Revisited." What does this formal structuring impose on the story's plotline?
- Consider the opening line of "Babylon Revisited." What is the effect of beginning in the middle of a conversation this way?
- As readers, are we supposed to be on Marion's side, or on Charlie's side? To what degree can we be sympathetic to Charlie? To Marion?
- Does Charlie seem like he would make a good father? What makes you think so? Are you rooting for him to get his daughter back?
- Does Charlie deserve what he gets?
- At the end of the story, is Charlie optimistic? Is the author? Should the reader be?
- Do some research on Fitzgerald's own life, focusing on his marriage and his daughter. What connections do you see between Fitzgerald's life and Charlie's? (You can read what we have to say on the matter in "Genre.")
- How does the biographical relevance of "Babylon Revisited" effect the story's literary, historical, and emotional merit?