Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*French Riviera

*French Riviera. Resort area along France’s Mediterranean coast that the novel refers to as the “home” of Dick Diver and his wife. The novel opens there, and the Divers periodically return there, and there the novel concludes with Dick blessing the beach from a terrace. As a literary device, the Riviera and its cities represent various aspects of the characters, the lives they lead, and the kinds of people they are becoming. The Riviera is pictured as a playground for the rich and famous, a place where Rosemary attends empty, pretentious parties with the Divers; where Nicole Warren spends money prodigiously—an indication of the relentless materialism of her family; where Dick repeatedly shines as glib host at dinner parties; where Mary North and Lady Caroline Sibly-Biers are arrested for their careless, condescending shenanigans; and where Nicole’s infidelity with Tommy Barban occurs.

Gausse’s Hôtel des Étrangers

Gausse’s Hôtel des Étrangers (gos-es oh-tel day-say-trahn-jay). Hotel on the French Riviera located somewhere “between Marseilles and the Italian Border” in which the novel opens. The hotel’s beach is where the initial infatuation begins between Dick Diver and film star Rosemary Hoyt and is the site of many scenes juxtaposed to indicate both the Divers’ charm as a couple and the ultimate disintegration of their marriage.

The hotel is significant as a gathering place for an elite group of wealthy and fashionable people, of whom Dick Diver is the indisputable star. Initially Diver’s “talent” is described as an ability to bring out the best in people and make them feel...

(The entire section is 688 words.)

Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

Set in Europe between 1925 and 1935, and with flashbacks that cover the years 1917 to 1925, Tender Is the Night describes a group of...

(The entire section is 734 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

While many critics and general readers believe that Gatsby takes the palm as Fitzgerald's greatest literary achievement, many others...

(The entire section is 293 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

The title comes from a line in John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale”: The poem, with its forlorn images of drinking,...

(The entire section is 706 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

1920s: Having just experienced the devastating effects of World War I, Europe is working to rebuild its economies and...

(The entire section is 289 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

F. Scott Fitzgerald was part of a group of writers known as the “Lost Generation.” Research the origin of that term and the writers who...

(The entire section is 229 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The 1962 film version of the novel (enhanced by a superb background musical score, which was nominated for an Academy Award) starred Jennifer...

(The entire section is 87 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

In 1955, Tender Is the Night was adapted as an hour-long television special, starring Mercedes McCambridge as Nicole Diver. In 1962,...

(The entire section is 132 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

The Great Gatsby, along with Tender Is the Night, is considered to be Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. Published in 1925, at the...

(The entire section is 225 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)

Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph, with Judith S. Baughman, “Introduction,” in Reader’s Companion to F. Scott...

(The entire section is 530 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Bruccoli, Matthew J. The Composition of “Tender Is the Night”: A Study of the Manuscripts. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963. This definitive study of the text provides a comprehensive analysis of the novel’s seventeen drafts. By chronicling significant changes between versions, Bruccoli offers valuable evidence of the forces that influenced Fitzgerald’s creative process.

Hook, Andrew. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Life. New York: St. Martin’s, 2002. Part of the Literary Lives series. Concise rather than thorough, but with some interesting details.

LaHood, Marvin J., ed....

(The entire section is 277 words.)