Tender is the Night
Innocence Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
He walked past the staring carabinieri and up to the grinning face, hit it with a smashing left beside the jaw. The man dropped to the floor.
[…] he was clubbed down, and fists and boots beat on him in a savage tattoo. He felt his nose break like a shingle and his eyes jerk as if they had snapped back on a rubber band into his head (2.22.90-91).
As far as we know, this is first time Dick has committed physical violence against another human being and it’s the first time that he’s been on the receiving end of it. We can see this as a serious loss of his innocence.
It had been a hard night but she had the satisfaction of feeling that, whatever Dick’s previous record was, they now possessed a moral superiority over him for as long as he proved of any use (2.23.103).
We know this is the last sentence of the chapter where Dick is beaten by the cops in Rome. Baby Warren has the last world in it, and with it she loses innocence in most readers’ eyes. She seemed sincere, genuine and even innocent in her desire to help Dick get out of jail. But now we see it was just the opportunity to further ownership over him. She relishes his downfall with a profound lack of innocence. But perhaps you see it differently. Can you make an argument for Baby Warren’s innocence in this moment?
"And, my God, I have never been so happy as I am this minute" (3.8.45).
Is that you, Tommy Barban? The guy whose only home is "war?" Perhaps this is Tommy’s moment of regained innocence – the simple innocence of a man and a woman together, loving one another. Go ahead - call him a home wrecker if you want. But we are content, for the moment, to bask in his happiness.