Most of the characters in Tender is the Night are Americans. Against the lush beauty of the most fashionable and exotic European locations, they pursue the extremes of desire and ambition. Yet, some of the characters are severely broken, even to the point of madness. This echoes the damaged state of the post-World War I Europe through which they travel. With each new location comes the risk of defeat in a "foreign" land, but also the hope of renewal that comes with a fresh experience.
The Swiss psychiatric clinic is the most foreign place in the novel.
Many of the American characters in Tender is the Night feel more at home in Europe than America.