Tender is the Night
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night Book Two, Chapter Ten Summary
- Dick and Baby meet in September, and they argue about whether Dick is good enough for her family – especially since Nicole is so much richer than he is. Dick’s father was only a minister.
- She isn’t aware of how close Dick is to telling her to forget it, but Nicole’s beauty stops him.
- Now the narrative shifts to the first person, we hear what Nicole says to Baby and her lawyer. She explains that she wants everything worked out, hears that she’ll get a huge allowance, and says that Dick doesn’t want her money.
- Now she’s directing her speech to Dick. She’s so happy to be with him, and can’t believe she gets to be "like everybody else," happy with her love, in bed.
- Now she’s asking someone to call Dick. It seems as if she’s about to give birth to their first child.
- Now she’s arguing with Dick about getting a bigger place. She wants one, he doesn’t.
- Now the narrative shifts to a regular first person limited omniscient, from Nicole’s point of view.
- Nicole talks about their wide travels, over Europe and Africa.
- She says that by the time they got to Algeria, she was already in the throes of a nervous breakdown. Dick had thought the travel would help.
- It started when Topsy was born.
- Now Nicole is addressing Dick directly. She seems to think she’s sick, but perhaps thinks she can be well in the future, like Dick.
- She’s persuading him to move to from Zurich to a warm, sandy place, where he can write, and she can study something to help keep her sane.
- Nicole is talking about the house she and Dick have bought at Tarmes, pointing out Dick’s "work house," and she thinks the Riviera will be bare in the summer, giving them ample time for study.
- Now she’s speaking to Dick, trying to convince him to work more. She complains that he’s leading her down a wild path.
- And now Nicole is telling us about Tommy Barban, and how he’s in love with her. She also says she’s friends with Mary North.
- At one point she makes the confusing comment that when she talks she tells herself she "probably [is] Dick," and that she’s also Lanier and Dr. Dohmler sometimes, and that she might be "an aspect" of Tommy.
- Abruptly, she says she’s happier than she’s ever been in her life, enjoying the warm beach, with her friends, her kids and Dick.
- She’s "translating" the "recipe for chicken a la Maryland into French" on the beach (see [1.4]).
- The final paragraph is in quotation marks. Nicole is discussing Rosemary with someone, before she’s met her, apparently. She’s says Rosemary might be one too many for their group.
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