Tender is the Night
How we cite our quotes:
"I fell in love on the beach," said Rosemary.
"First with a whole lot of people who looked nice. Then with one man"(1.3.2-4).
In this conversation with her mother, Elsie, Rosemary expresses the movement of her love, which she’s got on the brain. She seems eager to embrace everything and everyone is pleasing to her. That she moves so quickly from loving many to loving Dick Diver raises the possibility that she wants a special love most of all. Or does it? This is the beginning of the novel, for one thing, and the beginning of Rosemary’s jump into the world of sexual affairs. It’s probably safe to say she’s not sure what she wants. And Rosemary doesn’t really say she stops loving the group when she says she loves Dick, now does she? What do you think? How does she feel about the group and Dick by the end of the novel? How does she feel about love?
"When you’re older you’ll know what people who love suffer. The agony. It’s better to be cold and young than to love" (1.9.12).
This is from Campion, one of the novel’s gay characters. What do we make of the way his sexuality is handled in the novel? Dick certainly has some interesting opinions, as we see in his interactions with Francisco Pardo y Ciudad Real. What do you think though? Is Campion right? Is the possibility of a deep love worth the risk of pain?
" – So you love me?"
"Oh, do I!"
It Was Nicole – Rosemary hesitated in the door of the booth – then she heard Dick say:
"I want you terribly – let’s go to the hotel now.’ Nicole gave a little gasping sigh. For a moment the words conveyed nothing at all to Rosemary – but the tone did. The vast secretiveness of it vibrated to herself."
"I want you."
"I’ll be at the hotel at four" (1.12.15-20).
We never see this kind of excited intimacy when Dick and Nicole are presented directly. This side of them remains mysterious throughout the novel. It’s a mystery to Rosemary, too. She goes shopping with Nicole after this and when 4pm rolls around and Nicole isn’t rushing to meet Dick, Rosemary wants to remind her, or offer to go in her place. Was it all an act (possibly for Rosemary’s benefit)? Is Dick waiting impatiently for Nicole in some hotel room? Is the answer buried somewhere in the text? This passage resonates even more when we find out Dick and Nicole’s history in Book Two.