Study Guide

Tender is the Night Book One, Chapter Six

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book One, Chapter Six

  • Nicole is feeling nice from wine at lunch and walking around her huge, amazing garden, full of flowers and trees.
  • Her hair is darker now that she’s twenty-four. Back when she was eighteen, the beauty of her hair overwhelmed the beauty of her face.
  • Nicole enjoys being energetic even though she is quiet. And when she thinks her quietness is causing discomfort, she musters spurts of vivid speech.
  • While Nicole’s looking down at the sea from her home in the "ancient hill village of Tarmes," Dick comes out of his little house and finds her with a telescope. Then he picks up a megaphone and tells her he invited Mrs. Abrams to the party.
  • She’s expresses irritation, and he’s surprised he can hear her so well. But he uses the megaphone anyway and tells her that he wants the party to be wicked and naughty.
  • Nicole sees how excited he is and knows it will be followed by well-hidden depression.
  • He has a gift for making people completely fall in love with him. But then gets depressed when he realizes the damage of not being able to love them back equally, even though basking in his love for a while makes people feel so happy.
  • He is so nice to people, trying to make sure they stay in love with him, but will drop a person really fast if he sees them having qualms about him.
  • Rosemary and Elsie arrive first for the party, around half past eight.
  • Mrs. Speers comments excitedly on the garden. Dick says it’s Nicole’s and that she’s always in it. Then he says he’s going to give Rosemary a beach hat, "to save her reason."
  • Then Earl Brady shows up, not knowing Rosemary would be there, but familiar with the place.
  • He asks the Divers' son Lanier and daughter Topsy to sing a song in French, and they oblige.
  • Rosemary is feeling good until the McKiscos, Mrs. Abrams, Dumphrey, and Campion show up, but she follows Dick’s lead and is nice to them.
  • McKisco and North start bickering, and Rosemary restrains herself from trying to smooth things, when she sees Dick is letting them work it out.
  • She starts talking to Tommy Barban who says he’s going to war. He explains that the cycle of his life is to go to war, then to see the Divers, and then back to war.
  • He tells her that the Divers make him want to go to war, even though he likes them, particularly Nicole.
  • He’s half American and half French. He was schooled in England and has been in the military of eight nations.
  • Rosemary is rather freaked out by him but wonders about his interest in Nicole.
  • Rosemary is happy to find Dick again.
  • Rosemary’s mother, Elsie, wants Rosemary to only hang out with famous people, but she has given Rosemary the go ahead to do whatever she wants with Dick.
  • Dick tells Rosemary that they like her, but discourages her from making a move on him. She tells him she’s in love with him, but he doesn’t respond.
  • And then dinner is served.