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Tender is the Night

Tender is the Night

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Appearances Theme

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.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Are things what they appear in the novel? Are appearances, deceptive, revealing, or confusing?
  2. Do characters’ speech and actions sometimes contrast with their appearances? If so, when?
  3. How does money factor into appearances?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Tender is the Night is concerned with how appearances are used to mask both intentions and emotions.

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