Saturday, April 7, 2012

Babylon Revisited

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Babylon Revisited


Throughout life everyone experiences heart-wrenching moments. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited” a middle-aged man by the name of Charlie has faced losing a wife and is now trying to regain his child after a few years of extreme carousing. In the end, his indulgence left him with a deceased wife, no money, and a child that was put into the care of her aunt.


Charlie has one major issue he has to handle and that is how to go about getting back his daughter. To begin with, Honoria was set in the care of her Aunt and Uncle after her mother died tragically. As better times bless Charlie, he decides to go to the house of Marion and Lincoln where he is greeted by warm smiles and hugs. Although it’s more from courtesy than pleasure, it’s a welcome none the least. As the hours move on Charlie finally gets the nerve to request for his precious Honoria. His first encounter with the standoffish Marion ends quite to the liking of Charlie. Keeping Honoria in mind the entire time during the spat, he keeps making mental notes of not yelling. “Keep your temper, he told himself. You don’t want to be justified. You want Honoria”(Fitzgerald 51). His obvious desire for her supercedes his dignity in the argument, which for a man means a lot. During his bouts with this external conflict, Charlie kept his composure even more now, so as not to give her an excuse to keep his daughter.


Most of the time when Charlie is not arguing with his sister-in-law, he has been out exploring his old city from the eyes of a sober man. “He was curious to see Paris by night with clearer and more judicious eyes than those of other days”(Fitzgerald 508). Because of his stint with Marion, Charlie is trying very hard to be on his best behavior. He has taken his liquor from long inebriated nights to just a shot of whiskey a day. One problem Charlie seems to be having is his past keeps coming back to haunt him and is almost trying to drag him back to his old life. On his way through Paris he meets up with old acquaintances that bring back flashes of when he used to give “thousand franc notes given to an orchestra for playing a single number, hundred franc notes tossed to a doorman for calling a cab”(Fitzgerald 508). Lorraine Quarrles and Duncan Schaffer were also poorer after the crash, but still seems to be in a mind frame of three years ago. Charlie also seemed apprehensive to talk to them due to the fact that he wanted to be on his finest behavior now that he was with Honoria. One other conflict that seems to be bothering Charlie is that he wants to put some of his characteristics into Honoria. “Charlie was more and more absorbed by the desire of putting a little of himself into her before she crystallized utterly”(Fitzgerald 511). He knew that he had very little time to do this because she was already becoming her own lady.


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Last of all, Charlie has many different reactions to him not being able to get Honoria back. He is a very well spoken person due his being a businessman. He went in with the notion that if he could show that he was doing well for himself that Marion would have no problem letting him have his daughter back. He went in with the hope that Honoria would be coming back with him, but after having Lorraine make a unexpected arrival and upsetting Marion his chances greatly diminished. After all his effort, he was thwarted by his past once again.





In conclusion, Charlie faced many past demons and many of which have come back with a vengeance. Whether it is his past lifestyle, his wife, or friends all of which have combined to thwart his mission of getting back Honoria. In the end Charlie ends up in the place where life took its first wrong turn for him and that is in the bar. The life that he ran so well during his time ended up running him over and costing him possession of his only child.





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