Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Audrey Goodman

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Chase

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen B. Dobranski


In Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald retells the story of the Fall from Genesis through psychologist Dick Diver and his wife and patient Nicole, drawing poetic and thematic inspiration from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This essay traces the progression of the Divers’ fall and ultimate separation through the novel’s three books and considers how the highly autobiographical foundation of the novel, which has drawn considerable critical attention, may in fact allow Fitzgerald to craft a work that aligns with and simultaneously expands upon Milton’s interpretation of the Fall.