Tender is the Night
Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"We have arrested a Negro. We are convinced we have at last arrested the correct Negro" (1.22.15).
This is in Paris, of course. Abe has gotten mixed up in some bad business. The Parisian cops have been arresting black men all morning. When Jules Peterson wants to come into the Ritz bar and talk to Abe, he’s not allowed because he’s black. The black men in the novel are represented as extremely foreign.
"Kiss me, on the lips, Tommy."
"That’s so American," he said, kissing her […] "When I was in America last there were girls who would tear you apart with their lips, tear themselves too, until their faces were scarlet with the blood around the lips all brought out in a patch – but nothing further" (3.8.63-64).
OK, here Tommy does seem to be talking trash about America. And he’s constantly asking Nicole to speak French to him. Here it sounds like he’s saying American women in the 1920s were sexually repressed. Is that a stereotype or is it true?
The hotel and its bright tan prayer rug of a beach were one. In the early morning the distant image of Cannes, the pink and cream of old fortifications, the purple Alp that bounded Italy, were cast across the water and lay quavering in the ripples and rings sent up by sea-plants through the clear shallows (1.1.2).
This is just one example of the breathtakingly beautiful pictures F. Scott Fitzgerald paints when describing the novel’s exotic locations. This is from the very beginning of the novel, and the beach as a "prayer rug" identifies it as a set of hope in the novel. It also becomes sort of a breeding ground for many of the big changes that will impact the characters.