Tender is the Night
How we cite our quotes:
Franz relaxed – or rather assumed the posture of one relaxed. "Now tell me about yourself and your plans?"
"I’ve only got one, Franz, and that’s to be a good psychologist – maybe to be the greatest one that ever lived" (2.4.21).
Dick’s innocence here seems rather ironic. The tone suggests that he is innocent to the fact that he’s chosen to deal with people who have, in one way or another, lost their innocence.
"Honestly, you don’t understand – I haven’t heard a thing."
Nor known, nor smelt, nor tasted, he might have added; only hot- cheeked girls in hot secret rooms. […] Now there was this scarcely saved waif of disaster bringing him the essence of a continent (2.5.40).
Though Nicole’s innocence has been shattered by her father, she still seems like a very innocent young woman when Dick meets her (and possibly throughout the novel). Yet here, Dick sees himself as the innocent one. He seems to see Nicole as a pathway to becoming less innocent.
"I know I wouldn’t be fit to marry any one for a long time," she said humbly.
Tangled with love in the moonlight she welcomed the anarchy of her lover (3.8.94).
This can be seen as a return to innocence for Nicole. She sounds like some kind of mythic goddess, basking in the moon. Think about this. Her home is called Villa Diana. Diana is "the goddess of the hunt." She is later transformed into the moon goddess and is also a symbol of chastity. We could also look at her as an adulteress and her liaison with Tommy as a deeper fall from innocence. What do you think? Can sexual freedom constitute a return to innocence for Nicole?