Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald Summary and Analysis of “Babylon Revisited”

SUMMARY

The story opens with Charlie Wales questioning the barman at the Ritz as to the fortunes and location of his previous drinking friends. He provides the barman his brother-in-law’s address to hand down to Mr. Schaeffer. Things have actually clearly changed in Paris given that his last see. He discovers the emptiness of the Ritz bar portentous, and is saddened that it is no longer the center for the Americans of Paris. Alix informs him of the decrease in fortune of his former pals. Wales describes he stays in business in Prague which he has actually gone back to see his little girl.

Wales tells the barman that he is now relaxing There is a sensation of remorse as he strolls along the Left Bank, choosing that he ruined the city for himself by behaving badly there.

He gets to his in-law’s home in the Rue Palatine and is welcomed excitedly by his nine-year-old child, Honoria. Wales then experiences his sister-in-law, whose reaction to him is lukewarm as she tries to conceal her suspect.

He boasts of his success in Prague to his brother-in-law, Lincoln. This remains in a quote to demonstrate his stability, but his boasts are inadequately received. They discuss the declining numbers of Americans in Paris, and the Peters’ acknowledge it has made life better for them. Wales thinks back over his experiences of Paris– “We were a sort of royalty, practically foolproof.” Marion detects the reality that he has actually been in a bar and is not impressed. This truth appears to validate her unfavorable opinion of him.

He has dinner with the Peters’ and his child, then walks Paris, looking at his old haunts. He remembers the excesses of his time there, and the consequences: the loss of custody of his kid and the death of his better half.

He dines with Honoria following day at Le Grand Vatel, a place he does not connect with his wilder days. He offers to purchase her toys, however she is unenthusiastic about presents. They are spotted by Duncan Schaeffer and Lorraine Quarrles, who are undoubtedly continuing the energetic party lifestyle that Wales has abandoned. He refuses dinner with them, however lets them understand that he and Honoria are going to the vaudeville later on. They turn up and have beverages at the interval at a table with Wales and his child.

Honoria says that she wants to deal with her dad, and Wales is pleased. Honoria goes to sleep, and Wales resumes his discussion with Marion and Lincoln. He informs them that he now only takes one drink a day, and that he has actually reformed from his wild days of three years earlier. He understands his request to take Honoria will not be a popular one. Marion is direct in her interrogation of him, asking for the length of time he will be sober. She says her duty is to Helen, Honoria’s mother. Wales pleads his case, saying that he does not want to miss Honoria’s childhood, which he will be taking a French governess to look after her in Prague. His financial situation is plainly more stable that the Peters’ and both of them are irritated that Wales ought to be so prosperous.

Finally, Marion explodes. She clearly blames Wales for her sibling’s death. Wales leaves your home and reviews Helen’s death. They had actually argued for hours. She had actually kissed a boy when Wales had attempted to take her home, and she had said something upset. He left her there, went home and locked the door. She had arrived home alone an hour later on, to discover herself locked out in the snow. She had actually died later on, after their quarrel had actually been solved, however Marion still thought him to be accountable.

He hears Helen speaking with him in his sleep, informing him that she desires Honoria to be with him. He gets up delighted, and the Peters have concurred he can take Honoria, though they will retain legal guardianship. He finds a letter at his hotel, redirected from the Ritz, from Lorraine Quarrles, who wishes to see him again. She recounts an incident where they stole a butcher’s tricycle and they rode it together. He is shocked at his own previous irresponsibility.

Wales takes presents to the Peters’ home and they agree that he and Honoria can leave in a couple of days. Then the doorbell rings. It is Duncan and Lorraine, utterly intoxicated, welcoming Wales to supper. Wales is shocked, and Marion ranges from the room. Their supper is off as Marion is so disrupted by the intrusion. He is informed to call Lincoln the next day.

He goes to the Ritz bar for a beverage and calls Lincoln. The arrangement over Honoria leaving is postponed due to Marion’s distress. He is frustrated, knowing that his chance has actually been lost. He chooses that he will return and attempt once again. “He would return some day; they couldn’t make him pay permanently.”

ANALYSIS

“Babylon Revisited” is Fitzgerald’s most anthologized story. Again it is deeply individual: Fitzgerald’s child Scottie was brought up by buddies as Zelda Fitzgerald was committed due to her stopping working mental health and Fitzgerald’s alcoholism increased.

Charlie Wales has returned to Paris and right away we see him in the Ritz bar. This choice of location makes us skeptical that Wales is completely renouncing his former methods. He inquires about old acquaintances and– most especially– hands over his brother-in-law’s address to the barman to pass to Mr. Schaeffer. His surprise at the end of the story when Schaeffer shows up there, having actually seen him in Paris and joined him at the theater, is for that reason not so credible.

Wales discovers the quiet of the bar portentous.” Indeed it is: the quiet of this opening belies the uneasy drama of the scene at the Peters,’ and Wales’s go back to the bar later is more dismal than even this preliminary see. He informs the barman that he has returned to Paris to see his daughter. The barman plainly knows Wales, but did not understand that he had a daughter. This symbolizes the reality that Wales’s primary inspirations when previously in Paris did not center on family life.

Fitzgerald refers to specific renowned places in Paris to add a tone of realism and familiarity to the story. He has regrets that he has actually never eaten in a cheap dining establishment– implying that he understands he did not experience all the diversity that Paris needs to offer.

Wales fidgets when he reaches his in-law’s house, represented by the “cramping in his stomach.” There is a contrast in Honoria’s enthusiastic welcome of her daddy, and Marion’s “lukewarm” response. Their house is warm and happy: a nest of family life. Wales betrays his nerves as he boasts about his income and his company success. This is not an excellent way to win over the Peters’– they have actually always struggled as Wales and his partner lived a decadent, frivolous life.

When Wales lapses into reminiscences about his earlier life in Paris, his words are poignant and tinged with regret. He says “we were a sort of royalty, almost infallible.” “Almost” is the key word here, as Helen Wales does not make it through the heady days of their indulgent way of life.

At Le Grand Vatel, Wales enjoys dining with Honoria. He does not understand her rejection of him using her anything she desires. He forgets that she has matured in a much more restrained home that he and his spouse ever offered, which all Honoria really wants is to spend time with her father, not his gifts. Unfortunately, the impression is that this is the only way Wales is utilized to communicating with his child, and he reverts back to this at the end of the story when they can not be together.

Wales can not determine whether the sisters were close, but he is informed by Honoria that she likes Uncle Lincoln best. In Marion’s hands, Honoria appears to be a bargaining tool to heighten Wales’ regret. Marion makes Wales feel guilty about whatever; Helen’s death, his drinking and their absence of wealth. She had a “curious disbelief in her sis’s joy:” not comprehending that Helen liked Wales and their way of life probably as much as he did.

It is likely that Helen’s habits on the night she is locked out was equally as remiss as her other half’s. It is much easier for Marion to blame Wales than it is to accept her sibling’s faults. Wales’ imagine Helen might be an effort to ease his regret, but its gentleness recommends that there was love between them.