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Babylon Revisited

Babylon Revisited

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"And where's Mr. Campbell?" Charlie asked. (1.1)

Fitzgerald opens the story with Charlie in his old bar in Paris, having a drink, looking for his old drinking buddies. We should be suspect of his claim that he has totally reformed, and we should continue to doubt this claim throughout the story. Something tells us at least part of Charlie is still in love with the glamour and destruction of his old life.

Quote #2

"If you see Mr. Schaeffer, give him this," he said. "It's my brother-in-law's address. I haven't settled on a hotel yet." (1.8)

This is a very important moment in "Babylon Revisited," but we don't know that until we get to the end of the text. Later, when Duncan and Lorraine show up at the Lincolns, Charlie can't figure out how they found him. The reader knows something Charlie doesn't, and should remember this moment at the start of the text. That he doesn't remember it suggests that his self-destruction is actually subconscious. Perhaps this subconscious impulse stems from Charlie's guilt over his wife's death – he's subconsciously trying to punish himself while consciously seeking forgiveness from others (like Marion).

Quote #3

"We think Honoria's a great little girl too." (1.37)

This is the first time we hear Charlie's daughter's name. Because of the word "honor," we see that Charlie's attempts to get his daughter back might be symbolic of a greater struggle on his part to restore the honor he lost during his destructive, wasteful years in Paris. Honoria is the goal of his trip to Paris, but honor might be the goal of his reformation.

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