Tender Is the Night Study Guide

Tender Is the Night Study Guide

Original title:
Tender Is the Night

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered his best work. The novel was awarded many times and still is considered an example of classical modern literature.

The story isn’t autobiographical, but the course of the plot certainly reveals the emotions that Fitzgerald himself experienced when writing it. His life was rather harsh at the times of working on Tender is the Night and the bleak setting of the novel reflects it fully. In the end, the protagonist is deeply in debts and has to struggle to survive, like the author also did.

Tender is the Night features a tangled storyline telling us about the love triangles and the career of young and aspiring psychiatrists. Despite the ethical questions like falling in love with one’s patients or the desire of a mother to make her daughter a lover of a married man are never openly discussed, the novel makes us think about how much wrongness is going on around the main characters.

The characters of the novel are rarely happy. Personal issues that they already have or create for themselves complicate their relationships and turn every moment of joy into a feverish attempt to enjoy it all until something bad happens again. They start relationships, break them and return to their partners, trying to fix their family lives without actually fixing their own personal issues. Such a turmoil highly influences the career and business decisions of the protagonist, putting a choice before him: to solve his problems and end a toxic relationship or to lose his dream about becoming a famous psychiatrist forever.

The story clearly demonstrates that even knowing the depths of the human soul can’t save a person from failing in relationships miserably. A person’s believing in their own omnipotence and ability to fix any broken soul and win any free heart may lead to one’s soul equally broken and life shattered. We can only hope that the protagonist will make the right choice in the end and have a chance to start anew.

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