Study Guide

Tender is the Night Book One, Chapter Seventeen

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book One, Chapter Seventeen

  • Rosemary is shocked by the inside of the house (which sounds like a Modernist experiment [check out Shmoop’s "Genre" for more on Modernism]).
  • It feels like a movie set. About thirty people, the majority females, are hanging out.
  • Someone takes Dick away, and while Rosemary makes conversation with a woman, she hears some women talking some trash about Dick and Nicole and their friends.
  • She gives them the fish eye to make them stop. And soon Dick gets them out of there.
  • In the cab, Rosemary apologizes for the night before, and Dick says there’s no need for apologies.
  • He admits he’s in love with her, too, but acknowledges that it might not be the greatest thing in the world. Yet they are happy, in an illusory way.
  • He also tells her that Nicole can’t know, can’t be hurt, and that it’s of the utmost importance that he and Nicole stay together. Rosemary doesn’t want to hurt Nicole either, but has the idea that Dick and Nicole’s love is almost platonic.
  • Almost in answer to her thoughts, Dick explains that it’s "active love," and that it’s complicated. He explains that their love was the reason for the duel, and that Nicole is delicate.
  • After they part at the hotel, Rosemary starts to write to her mother – almost out of guilt – because she doesn’t miss her.