Poor Children at a Christmas Tree

Just for a moment they seem to speak to everyone at the table, singly and together, assuring them of their friendliness, their affection. And for a moment the faces turned up toward them were like the faces of poor children at a Christmas tree.

Tender is the Night p. 34

“… like the faces of poor children at a Christmas tree.” This is why I love Fitzgerald’s writing despite his less than redeeming stories. What a great foreshadowing metaphor! The Divers, here at least, are the people all the others want to be close to. You want to be Dick and Nicole’s friends, and you feel that you are. They are the consummate hosts. But like poor children at a Christmas tree, the guests will be disappointed. The magic will fade; the payoff is shallow; and it will all get burned up in the end. 

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