8 October 2013
Charlie Wales Charlie Wales loves to party, to drink and have a great time, he had money, a beautiful, he had everything he ever wanted. Turn the page, 10 years later, Charlie Wales love his daughter, she is all that he has. The Crash took everything, the money, the parties, and crushed any hope of them ever coming back. Charlie's wife, Helen, had been with Charlie the whole time, enjoying the same life, but never lived to see the devastation of the Crash. Just as everything started to die, so did Helen, especially after that night. As she fought pneumonia and “heart trouble”, the world around her came crashing down, and she never saw the results. Charlie has now lost everything he loved, including his daughter, Honoria, who is now under the legal custody of his sister-in-law, Marion. As the world suffered its loss of a thriving economy and glorious lifestyles, so did Charlie suffer the loss of everything he used to know and love.
Charlie, Helen, Honoria, and Marion are all characters of the short story, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited, which takes place in Paris, France, both before and after the Crash, circa 1920 and 1930, respectively. The short story is broken up into 4 chapter-style staves, two staves take place in Charlie's memories, before the Crash, two take place after the Crash, as Charlie returns to Paris to get his daughter back. The staves that take place in the past follow the Checkovian style of short stories. In this style of story, there is little action, focusing more on the emotions and reflections, of Charlie. The events that happen are all in Charlie's mind, from his memories before the Crash. Along with these events we see Charlie's perspective,and how he feels now, about what happened, and what he did wrong that led him to where he is now. The staves, after the Crash, are in the Maupassauntian style, in which the reader's emotions are played with. In the actual story, Charlie is often distraut, stressed over the daunting challenge of getting his daughter back. The reader becomes, confused, unsure of how to feel, who to trust, and who to like and dislike. By allowing the reader to choose who they like, by showing both the characters flaws and successes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, creates many versions of the story, each of which, every character has their own identity, as either good, or evil, and the reader is the one who chooses which characters to trust, and which not to trust.
Both the past and present staves focus on one struggle that Charlie has, the past on the struggle against himself, and all the things that he has done wrong. The present staves focus on the struggle against Marion, who doesn't trust Charlie and won't give up Honoria. Charlie's inner struggle is with the Charlie of before the Crash, who drank, and partied, and threw away money “He remembered thousand-frac notes given to an orchestra for playing a single number, hundred-franc notes tossed to a doorman for calling a cab” (Fitzgerald 49). Charlie still drinks, but only allows himself one drink every day, showing his control over his old problem. Lorraine, a woman that Charlie used to party, is still stuck in the times before the Crash, still trying to party and drink, is still trying to convince Charlie to try to come back to the times before the Crash, but Charlie refuses to. Charlie knows that he has to what is best for his daughter, which means being there for her, not off at a bar getting drunk and partying, which again shows Charlie's new found control over himself. Marion believes that Charlie is still the way he used to be, especially when Lorraine shows up at her house, looking for Charlie. She never trusted Charlie, and she probably never will, but Charlie has to show her that he has changed. Marion also blames Charlie for Helen's death, just because of that one night, which happened so long ago. Marion's hatred toward Charlie shows the everlasting theme of grudges, something that…