Tender is the Night

The Developing Relationship in Tender is the Night 12th Grade

They are American, young, wealthy and in love. Nicole and Dick are the souls of an age, a world of opulence, blurred boundaries and equally commanding desires, and their relationship reflects the ambiguities of its core values. Judged within an American popular culture, their success together may be measured romantically, professionally and economically. Even as they fulfil the best marital stereotype, making a pretty pair and their union for the most part a benefit to the society orbiting around them, theirs is not a typical love affair. Nicole’s mental sickness means it is doomed from the start, not only challenging their roles in relation to one another, but also reflecting the illusory nature and transience of appearances. Schizophrenia is the leitmotif of their partnership; split responsibilities, a tenuous hold on reality, or at least the self-control maintaining an image of sanity and happiness, and a double standard in their morality, social customs and financial attitudes. They are not entire, not ‘like everybody else’, and rather than distinguish them from the mass, their difference leaves them incomplete: under so many pressures, their marriage is too strained and themselves too separate for it to be anything but a...

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