Diver And Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as a writer who chronicled his
times. This work has been critically acclaimed for portraying the sentiments of
the American people during the 1920s and 1930s. ‘The Great Gatsby’ was
written in 1924, whilst the Fitzgeralds were staying on the French Riviera, and
‘Tender is the Night’ was written nearly ten years later, is set on, among
other places, the Riviera. There are very interesting aspects of these works,
such as the way Fitzgerald treats his so-called heroes, and to what extent we
can call them heroic. Gatsby and Diver are both presented as wealthy men leading
privileged lives. ‘The Great Gatsby’ was written before the Depression, and
the optimism and faith in the power of money within the novel demonstrates this
belief that people had. Notably, it is the characters’ faith in riches, and
not Fitzgerald’s own. Gatsby is a self-made millionaire, making his money
through bootlegging. He has acquired vast amounts of money, and believes that
this money will help persuade Daisy to love him and leave Tom. This is
illustrated in Chapter five when Daisy is shown around Gatsby’s mansion at his
request. He shows her every detail, through from the gardens to his shirts and
‘he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it
drew from her well-loved eyes’. Gatsby sees his money and possessions as
wonderful things, but they are also more than that, they are a means to an end,
the end being Daisy. He bough the house because of where it was in relation to

Daisy (across the bay), and he held the most amazing parties in the hope that

Daisy, or someone that knew Daisy would come. Gatsby, in effect, devoted his
whole life to the search for Daisy, and his money is a tool to help him find his
love. Diver’s attitude to money is very much a contrast to this. Money to him
does not represent freedom and choice, but a bind that ties him and constricts
him. Diver is conscious through the whole novel that he himself is not the
financially dominant member of his marriage, but Nicole, with her seemingly
endless riches. ‘Tender is the Night’ is written after the Wall Street Crash
and during the Depression, but Fitzgerald has moved his characters away from the

Depression of the United States to the French Riviera, where the Depression did
not leave such a deeply imprinted mark upon society. Diver is representative of
middle class America – financially secure but not in a position to spend money
as Nicole does, buying from great lists, and ‘everything she liked that she
couldn’t possibly use she bought as a present for a friend’. Instead, Dick
felt ‘a discrepancy between the growing luxury in which the Divers lived, and
the need for display which apparently went along with it. Dick feels trapped by

Nicole’s money, and constantly tires to assert his independence from it, such
as when he and Nicole started out together, he supported them on his few
thousand a year. However, the Warren family undermined his independence, such as
buying the Divers their clinic in Zurich, in order to protect Nicole. Nicole
wants to own Dick, and once of the ways in which to do so is by her money
(’Nicole, wanting to own him ... encouraged any slackness on his part’).

People see the Divers for their money, such as Franz Gregorovious with his plans
for the clinic. It is not that Dick is adverse to the concept of money and
wealth, but he feels that he has become trapped by Nicole’s riches (he ‘had
wedded a desire for money to an essentially unacquisitive nature ... he had
never felt more sure of himself ... than at the time of his marriage to Nicole.

Yet he has been swallowed up like a gigolo, and somehow permitted his arsenal to
be locked up in the Warren safety deposit vaults.’) Despite both these men
having vast amounts of money at their disposal, thus the theoretical ability to
do or achieve anything they want, neither of these men are happy. Interestingly,
neither of these men view their money as material wealth, but intrinsically
linked to their lovers. Fitzgerald does not put forward the theory that money
brings happiness, or can solve problems, but more often than not, brings more
sadness and joy. This contrasts nicely with the mood of the 1920s which was of
materialism, and also of the 1930s, where lack of money brought unhappiness.

Gatsby and Diver are both seen by their