Tender is the Night

Crimes Without Consequence

The implications of modernist thought in F. Scott Fitzgeralds' Tender Is the Night, become apparent when conceptualizing crime and punishment. Besides the murder of the Negro in the Parisian hotel, the idea of crime is plastic; adultery, deceit, moral depravity barely have consequences. Actions committed with good intentions often end in despair, such as the marriage of Dick and Nicole Diver. Similarly, seduction and dissimulation are not often met with ensuing punishment. Actions, whether they be morally right or wrong, tend to remain in a staid state without the traditional response. The modernists place characters in various moments and situations that do not necessarily conclude in the set conception of "punishment."

Nicole and Dick Diver both commit "crimes" of infidelity during their marriage. While Dick's tryst with Rosemary ceases without any succinct culmination, Nicole sleeps with Tommy and ends her marriage to elope with him. Neither crime however, is met with a punishment. While Dick slowly loses his manner of attraction and wiles with women, he sinks into apathy and alcoholism. Fitzgerald does not seem to be punishing Dick in any way for his fleeting romance with Rosemary; rather, his...

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