Tender is the Night
Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Dick, worn away by the events of the afternoon, was taking it out on the inhabitants of Italy. He looked around the bar as if he hoped an Italian had heard him and would resent his words (2.22.3).
He’s fulfilling the stereotype of "the ugly American." And poor Collis Clay keeps insisting that he loves Italy and Italians. But Italy is just an excuse for Dick. Everything is wrong in his world and he’s taking it out on the nearest target. This isn’t the only time we heard Dick talking like that. When he gets drunk or angry he is really likely to use words like "spick" and "nigger."
"You spoke to Hosain’s sister."
Dick could only say: "I supposed they were two maids" (3.4.1-2).
Mary he told him they were her husband’s sisters. But Dick thinks that dark skin means hired help. He isn’t very open to the cultural realities around him.
"Well, I have felt there were too many people on the beach this summer," Nicole admitted. "Our beach that Dick made out of a pebble pile." […] "Still, they’re preferable to those British last summer who kept shouting about" (1.4.35).
Nicole has spent more of her life in Europe than in America. Her attitude is very us vs. them – those who belong and those who don’t. We also understand later that much of her hostility is directed towards Rosemary. And we also know that she sometimes feels like the ultimate foreigner. So much so that she pretends to be other people. What do we make of her attitude here on the beach?