Appearances both mask and reveal the characters in Tender is the Night. Inner poverty is often covered over by a veil of wealth and privilege. And sometimes a rough and jaded exterior gives way to reveal a gentle, loving heart. Appearances can be deceptive in the novel – there is no shortage of wolves in sheep’s clothing here. At other times, things are pretty close to what they seem. The appearances of some characters remain relatively fixed throughout the novel, while others undergo subtle and drastic changes that force us to constantly question what we see when we look at them.
Tender is the Night is concerned with how appearances are used to mask both intentions and emotions.