Tender is the Night
How we cite our quotes:
"Then there’s the fact that I love Nicole."
"But you can love more than just one person, can’t you? Like I love Mother and I love you – more. I love you more now.’"
" – the fourth place you’re not in love with me but you might be afterwards, and that would begin your life with a terrible mess" (1.15.33-35).
Here Dick seems utterly sincere. He really is trying to do the right thing. He takes his love for Nicole seriously, and he takes Rosemary’s well-being seriously, too. And did you ever get the feeling when reading this book that Rosemary loves her mother a little too much? Who uses pickup lines like that? Oh darling, I love you even more than I do my mother. So let’s get a room. Not the most dignified approach. But Rosemary is barely 18 and her mother has told her to do this, regardless of who gets hurt. And, her love for Dick never wavers, even though it doesn’t seem to work out. So who needs dignity?
"I’m afraid I’m in love with you,’ said Dick, ‘and that’s not the best thing that could happen" (1.17.22).
Man, Rosemary’s techniques worked. By this time, Dick’s feelings for her are getting stronger and stronger. However, as the novel makes clear, they are not as strong as his feelings for Nicole. From here on out he’s in deep conflict because he is trying to love both women without hurting either of them.
[Dick] left a note for Maria Wallis signed "Dicole," the word with which he and Nicole had signed communications in the first days of love (2.24.1).
Now that’s some heavy-duty love. Maybe too heavy-duty, as the novel seems to suggest. Nicole spends Book Three of the novel figuring out how to disentangle her own personality from Dick’s. This passage demonstrates also how deeply they are connected. The novel questions whether people so wrapped up in each other can live together happily in the long run.