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Word Count: 537
Explain fully Charlies attempt to escape the past In F Scott Fitzgeralds Babylon Revisited Charlie Wales has come to Paris to try to get custody of his daughter Honoria from his late wifes sister Marion to whom the child was entrusted after Charlie fell apart several years before In order to get Honoria back he needs to present a facade of being much more whole than he really is but he is fully aware of the split between the fantasy he has created and the reality he lives It is natural that in returning to a place where one has once lived one should revisit familiar places and Charlie spends the first scene of the story in a bar From this we learn that Charlie has had a problem with alcohol and that this is a situation all too common in his social circle The opening paragraphs establish that he has been away for a while and much has changed He describes what his old haunts are like now alluding to the fact that the bar used to be busier that many of his friends have gone away or gone to the dogs or gotten sick that he used to drink excessively but has disciplined himself to one drink a day We see that Charlie is sincerely trying to re-invent himself and we think he deserves a chance But Marion Charlies sister-in-law the sister of his deceased wife Helen who has custody of Honoria does not think so She refers to an incident when Charlie locked Helen out of the house in the snow apparently a relatively short time before Helens death Although there is no real medical connection between the snow incident and Helens heart attack Marion still connects the two events in her mind because they occurred about the same time and unjustifiably holds Charlie responsible for the death of his wife Fitzgerald introduces a tragic element to the story with the
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