Scholars have spoken of Tender Is the Night as marking Fitzgerald's most “mature” representation of World War I in his fiction. This article, however, argues that all of the main facets of Fitzgerald's depiction of World War I in Tender Is the Night can be identified in his first novel, This Side of Paradise. Amory Blaine, like Dick Diver, is given to questioning the significance of the war, concluding as he does that it has resulted in a profound and irrevocable severance between his and preceding generations. Amory and Dick are further linked by the ways in which their self-conception is simultaneously challenged and empowered by World War I. Although divorced from the stability of the pre-war world, Amory and Dick appropriate the war, as they understand it, as a powerful new means of conceptualizing themselves and the generation to which they belong. The article concludes by arguing that This Side of Paradise and Tender Is the Night are further connected by Fitzgerald's incorporation of characters that hold readings of the war that contrast with those offered by the protagonist, a strategy that accentuates the subjectivity of Amory and Dick's views.

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