I really enjoyed reading Tender is the Night, but the main character, Dick Diver, confuses me. What confuses me is how Fitzgerald intended to make the reader feel about Dick Diver. Were we supposed to sympathie with him? Were we supposed to like him? Dislike him? Etc.
Personally, I found him a very dislikable character. I found him arrogant and self-absorbed, a man who, when it came down to it, was selfish. And he's a blatant racist, which really sealed how I felt towards him. I don't know if I am supposed to just think, "he was a product of his time, everyone was a racist, it's no big deal," but I can't do that (one reason being that line of thought not being in any way tue notwithstanding). Lines like, "He's a spic," ". . . this was a Bahama Negro, conceited and unpleasant. . ." "You dirty Wops!" and by far the worst, "Look here, you mustn't get upset over this-it's only some nigger scrap." Now, I could forgive the first lines, but the last one (referring to the murdered black man who was just trying to help) is so mean and hateful.
In the end, I was glad to see his fall from grace, and quite frankly, would have liked to seen him end up worse off than he did. Dick Diver also supposedly being heavily based on Fitzgerald himself seems odd. Did Fitgerald really want to portray himself in this light? Or was he just being honest?
So, is there an intended feeling that is supposed to be felt towards Dick Diver, or is it up to interpretation (as I assume this is the case)? It seems to me Nicole is by far the character I sympathized with more.