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Babylon Revisited

Literary Devices in Babylon Revisited

❶Charlie Wales pays the penance for his choice to drink and live the life of Babylon Eble She arrived home an hour later, and was unable to get into their home.

Something bad happened. Sorry.

by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Since the existentialist mentality has as its basis the concept that an individual is free to make choices for the life he or she lives, he or she is absolutely responsible for the world in which he or she lives. The concept of being-in-itself did not cause Charlie to choose this life. If, therefore, he made a bad choice, he cannot hold anyone else responsible.

Not until after the stock market crash does Charlie realize the consequences of his actions and feel the guilt of those consequences. He realizes that, like all individuals, he is responsible for everything he does Toor Charlie is held responsible for his actions in that he loses both his wife and daughter. He cannot reclaim his daughter until he accepts the consequences of his past. Charlie Wales pays the penance for his choice to drink and live the life of Babylon Eble He realizes that he must pay the price: It [money] had been given, even the most wildly squandered sum, as an offering to destiny that he might not remember the things most worth remembering, the things that now he would always remember — his child taken from his control, his wife escaped to a grave in Vermont Fitzgerald For Charlie, the suddenness of the Depression creates a sense of dislocation, a feeling that he is living in two worlds at once.

He is committed to the idea of recovery and the new way of life he has created, but he still clings partially to many of the habits he formed during the boom Way The recovery is the important change that Charlie makes.

His main purpose is to regain custody of Honoria. Charlie feels as if he has paid the price for his past choices and has sufficiently recovered enough to look after Honoria himself. He tells Marion and Lincoln that he is anxious to have a home and anxious to have Honoria in it. The memory of Helen drives Charlie to work hard and make himself a better person. He is working to get Honoria not only for his own sake, but for the sake of his dead wife. Fitzgerald is showing the sort of strength in Charlie that the reader does not see in Marion.

Charlie has learned to control his drinking. When Marion finds out he had been in a bar before coming to her apartment, she chides him. He is trying to prove that he can control his drinking habits. He has one drink to enjoy the idea and taste of alcohol but will not allow himself to drink in excess. He knows it will be difficult to persuade Marion to let Honoria go, but he is confident that if he accepts her recriminations patiently and convinces her of his newly acquired steadiness of character, he will ultimately be successful.

Fitzgerald makes it obvious in the beginning of the novel that Honoria was not the first thing on the mind of her parents during their Babylon days. You have a little girl? Someone who knew Charlie fairly well during his drinking days did not even know that he had a daughter. Fitzgerald contrasts this idea of having no relationship with his daughter by showing with tenderness and affection the scenes in which Charlie tentatively establishes contact with Honoria.

He buys her toys and takes her to the circus, creating once again the atmosphere of love between them. Although he may be buying the love of his daughter, Marion grudgingly admits that Charlie has earned the right to his child Way Fitzgerald also shows the intense love that the child has for her father.

She wants to go with him to Prague and asks when she will get to be with him Charlie has recovered to the point that he wants to be with his child and she wants to be with him. Ultimately, when Marion denies him the child, he again shows strength of character Way This creates an ugliness in the world to which people must react. Duncan Schaeffer, a friend from college. They invite him to come sit in the bar with them and also invite him to dinner.

They cannot accept the change in Charlie. Later in the story, Lorraine invites him to dinner, reminding him of their drunken exploits. As a temptress, she has lost her charm for Charlie. He instead goes to meet with the Peters and his daughter Baker Just as Charlie has regained permission to take his child, the final, and most detrimental, intrusion occurs.

Lorraine and Duncan crash the apartment, unmistakably drunk. They loudly and brutishly encourage him to join them for dinner. He tries feverishly to get them out of the apartment, but they are the reminders of his old life that Marion needs to change her mind. But I remember once when you hammered on my door at 4 a. Charlie knows that he has lost Honoria because of these outside forces that try to make him weaker.

Fitzgerald shows that Charlie is stronger because of his life change. He goes to the Ritz bar in search of Duncan and Lorraine with the idea of finding them and letting them know that they possibly ruined his life. They had done their sorry work and vanished from his life Baker He has lost his family and his life. When he eventually fails to regain custody of Honoria, he questions why life dealt him this hand: Charlie drinks himself into a sanitarium before he begins to come out of the prison of alcoholism.

The story then ends again in the Ritz bar. Charlie has come full circle since the beginning of the story. He found happiness in knowing that he would take Honoria home, and then his past of loneliness finds him.

The intrusions lead to his ultimate loneliness again Griffith He is sitting in the Ritz bar when he finds out that Marion has refused to let Honoria go. He realizes that his loneliness will not end because of the mistakes that he has made: The prosperity that he once had is now imprisoning him in a life of solitude and loneliness.

Some have to learn this lesson the tough way. Some learn that the past does not only hurt us now, but can affect who we are today. No matter the location in Paris, or who he meets, his past follows him.

Whether he is walking around or visiting the in-laws, he cannot escape it. For the story itself this plays a large role. More Essay Examples on Myopia Rubric. It begins to show in the very beginning with the bartender recognizing him and then builds throughout the story. Even when he goes for a walk by himself, his past party spots are the destinations, and his thoughts drift to the past fun wild life style he enjoyed there.

His past, though, is characterized into Lorraine and Duncan. This is a literal representation of how the past can come back to haunt ones present. Not only do his old drinking buddies come over unannounced, they are intoxicated at the time and insist Charlie comes joins them.

To Marion this shows undoubtedly that Charlie has not changed at all. Living in the moment can be good, but as a life motto, it can be very damaging. Charlie was quite a partier, and quite the wild boy during the roaring twenties that swept across America and Europe.

This point in history the stock market was soaring and people were making small fortunes. Charlie took this opportunity and ran with it. Not only did he party all over Paris, he went all over Europe with his wife. He then lost all of his fortune in the crash of the stock markets in He then left his daughter behind after the death of his wife. Then after all of that, he hurt came back expecting to be given back the daughter he threw away a few years before by willing to limit himself with alcahol beverages every day instead of being an alcoholic.

Learning the lesson about past affecting the present is something Charlie learns the hard way. He learns that his past is not easily escaped after all the hurt he left behind.

This illuminates without an explicit statement that Charlie is inherently short sighted.


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