Tender is the Night
How we cite our quotes:
"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).
This passage describes what becomes a major problem for Nicole later in the novel - not being able to separate herself from Dick. Dick wants this kind of deep connection, too. That’s why he revives their old tradition when Nicole is drifting apart. This passage marks a number of transformations undergone by Dick and Nicole.
Fifteen minutes ago they had been a family. Now as she was crushed into a corner by his unwilling shoulder, he saw them all, child and man, as a perilous accident (2.16.47).
This isn’t long before Nicole tries to drive them all off a cliff. Although much has lead up to this moment, for Dick, the beauty of his identity as a family is thoroughly transformed in less than an hour.
One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still (3.11.55).
This isn’t a very hopeful view. This passage suggests that people, once transformed by damage, can never completely heal. What do you think? Is this overly pessimistic or just stark reality? Are there moments in the text which argue against this position?