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Any visitor to the French Riviera in the mid-1920s the setting of F Scott Fitzgeralds Tender is the Night would describe Dr Richard Diver as a charming respected well-mannered physician Dick is a noble man who has dedicated his life to the health and protection of his beloved wife without thought to himself Furthermore he gives wonderful parties and is a reliable source of help to any friend in need In fact to be included in Dick Divers world for a while was a remarkable experience Fitzgerald Tender 27 Under this faade of composure however lies a tormented personality The stresses in Dicks life are numerous as he deals with Nicoles breakdowns and other aspects of his career and social relationships He has no one to help him through these difficulties but he still manages to rescue his friends in countless instances He does his best to play his role as husband father friend and physician but he is clearly not comfortable with his responsibilities and his confusion manifests itself through his obsession with youthfulness Not only does Dr Diver try to appear young and vital to the outside world he also has an unhealthy obsession with much younger women in his life This paternal attitude toward females mingled with sensual desire is a sign of Dicks hidden instability which slowly becomes more visible Several events point to Dicks desire to appear younger and as his immature attitude about life He has a strong need for social approval and tries to ensure his social standing by being a gracious and charming host to a myriad of friends and acquaintances He is very concerned with each guests opinion of him and is said to win everyone quickly with an exquisite consideration and a politeness that moves so fast and intuitively that it could be examined only in its effect 27-28 Later while on the shore with his family Dick decides to attempt a foolish trick involving
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