Transference and Counter Transference in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night [BR]
[BR]Already with thee! tender is the night, [BR]* * * * * * * * * [BR]But here there is no light, [BR]Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown [BR]Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. [BR]-John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale” [BR][BR]A silent but unsettling darkness pervades the novel, Tender is the Night, the story of Dick Diver, a promising young psychologist who falls from fame as he lives with his wife Nicole Warren, a wealthy and beautiful schizophrenic patient. [BR][BR]The Author [BR]
The analysis of the novel would be incomplete if not seen side by side with the biography of the author, as Tender is the Night, just like most of Fitzgerald’s works, is autobiographical as much as it is psychological. Looking into the novel, one would find a lot of parallels between the life of the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the lives of the characters, especially that of the Diver couple. [BR]Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St Paul, Minnesota, and was sent to local Roman Catholic boarding schools. At Princeton University, instead of concentrating on formal study, he opted to receive his education from writers and critics. In 1917 he was commissioned to the army, and, while in training camps, wrote the novel This Side of Paradise (1920). While at a camp in Alabama, he fell in love with 18-year-old Zelda Sayre, who later became an integral figure in Fitzgerald''s fiction, which paid for his and Zelda''s extravagant society lifestyle.
[BR]In 1924 the Fitzgeralds left their Long Island home for Paris, where they met Gerald and Sarah Murphy, who took them to the French Riviera. Here Fitzgerald finished The Great Gatsby (1925). Although the novel is generally regarded as his masterpiece, it sold poorly, marking the end of his writing career, and the beginning of the degradation of his life. Despite Zelda''s slide into insanity (she was hospitalized periodically from 1930 to her death in 1948) and his into alcoholism, he continued to write, mostly for magazines. It was not until 1934 that Tender is the Night appeared. [BR] Fitzgerald recovered sufficiently to become a screenwriter in Hollywood, where he met Sheilah Graham, who tried to save him from his alcoholism. He died of a heart attack in December 21, 1940 without completing The Last Tycoon (1941), his most mature novel. Even so, the book''s brilliance prompted critics to re-evaluate Fitzgerald''s talent and eventually to recognize him as one of the finest American writers. [BR][BR][BR]