Study Guide

Tender is the Night Book Three, Chapter Eight

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book Three, Chapter Eight

  • Nicole gets all dolled up for Tommy. She’s very happy to have some romantic excitement.
  • She flirts with Tommy. He makes a comment about her eyes that insults her and she defends herself confusedly.
  • Tommy asks about Dick and she tells him he’s away. Tommy starts to understand what she wants.
  • They drink and eat and flirt and kiss and then they get a room. They have a drink and Tommy starts kissing her knees and she surrenders to the moment.
  • There seems to be a time gap here, and it’s not clear if the make love before they hear a commotion outside their room.
  • They engage in what seems to be post-lovemaking talk and then the commotion gets wilder. The commotion comes from the American Navy men and their female groupies partying.
  • It seems their ship is nearby and they must soon be on it. The groupies are trying to see them off.
  • They knock on Tommy and Nicole’s door and beg to use their balcony for that purpose.
  • The lovers leave soon after, have dinner and go swimming in a secluded grotto under the moonlight. They fall asleep together.
  • Nicole wakes up and asks Tommy to take her home before the kids get up.