Tender is the Night

"Is Tender is the Night a modernist novel?".

Hello, I am Aurelie, a French student studying American Literature. I am actually writing a paper about Tender is the Night, which is a novel I really found interesting. I'm trying to answer to this question. I think it is a modernist novel because of its organization: Fitzgerald here completely broke with the literature conventions (with these 3 different books and changes of point of view). Then I'm thinking of dealing with the fall down of Dick, which is typical from this post war period of "Lost Generation". I'm thinking of doing a parallel with Hemingway's "The Sun also Rises" and "The Great Gatsby", with this idea of alcoholism and auto-destruction. Also I will underline this leisure class foreshadowed by Nicole. This leisure class which is kind of careless with its money (which leads Nicole to skysophrenia, and which also leads the couple to destruction). I will also concentrate on that point: never trust the appearances. Sorry if it's not very clear for the moment. My question actually deals with my second point: on the other hand, this novel cannot be classified in the Modernist gender. Here I am quite confused at the moment. I think I could write about Rosemary naivety. She represents this new youth class and, as for as me, the novel is romantic when the narrator deals with her... I would also like to underline the fact that characters love like they do everything else: to the extreme. Which could also be compared with the romantic movement... I would be very glad if someone wants to speak about it with me, in order to share some ideas... Thank you!

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The novel is normally considered a modernist novel. Basically for reasons you have already mentioned, a reaction to WWII and the piecing together of broken lives. The novel, just like parts of Gatsby, contains elements of Fitzgerald's own life and marriage to Zelda, although paralleling later events, while Gatsby reflects more of the early times in the relationship.

Thank you for your answer. So you wouldn't do a plan as I did like: part I : Yes, Part II: No? I thought I had to answer that way to these kind of open questions. And I am actually looking for other elements for this second part... (cause romanticism is not enough...). What do you think of this plan?

Well I would classify it as a modernist novel, so if you want to adjust the second part, that would work. I would encourage you to go with your own thoughts if you feel strongly about them. Be careful with the alcoholism and self-destruction in The Sun Also Rises. While alcohol is integral to the characters it is not the cause of Jake's problems.