Nicole’s mental illness permeates everything. Her world is torn apart when she’s a young teenager. Her mother had just died, and her father, Devereux Warren, whom she adored, raped her. When she is diagnosed with schizophrenia, both Devereux and his other daughter, Baby, claim there is no history of schizophrenia in their family, and so, strongly suggest that her illness was directly caused by the rape.
The novel gives the character of Nicole extra-special treatment. She is the only character who gets to narrate a section in the first person. And even before this first person section, she gets an epistolary section (as you might know, epistles are what fancy literature people call letters ). Notice that we get to see some of the letters she wrote to Dick, but not any of Dick’s letters to her. On the other hand, we have to remember that this section could be composed of Dick’s memory of Nicole’s letters, rather than Nicole’s letters themselves. It’s not clear which interpretation is intended by the author – perhaps a little of both. But either way, the letters present Nicole as an extremely intelligent, highly educated, complicated person, battling something very dark and painful.
Before we examine her first person section, let’s look at a line or two that might foreshadow it. We here at Shmoop are just a tad bit confused when during the private screening of Daddy’s Girl. the film staring starlet Rosemary Hoyt, for the Divers and their friends, we see this line: "Was it a ‘itty-bitty bravekins and did it suffer? Ooo-ooo-tweet, de tweetest thing, wasn’t she dest too tweet?"
Since all we’ve seen is third-person narration, it looks at first like the third-person narrator is commenting on Rosemary’s character in the film. But let’s compare it to what Nicole tells Dick that winter when they are celebrating the holidays at a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps:
"Please be happy, Dick." […] "Why don’t you meet some of these ickle durls and dance with them in the afternoon?"
"What would I say to them?"
"Say: ‘Ickle durl, oo is de pwettiest sing.’"
These are the only instances of "baby-talk" in the novel. And since in between those two scenes, Nicole gets a great big first person section, it’s possible that the "itty-bitty bravekins" stuff is her first-person narrative trying to break through.
Why would it try to break through during the screening of Daddy’s Girl. It’s safe to say Nicole feels threatened by Dick and Rosemary’s relationship (and Dick is just old enough to be Rosemary’s father), and if you take that together with the fact that Nicole was raped by her father, we can imagine Nicole’s discomfort at watching the woman who might be her husband’s lover playing the role of "perfect" daughter to the "perfect" father on the big screen. In this moment, perhaps the third-person narrator is no longer sufficient to express Nicole’s pain, which is probably the most important thing going on in the room. And it subtly prepares the readers for the shock of "hearing" Nicole’s voice, unmediated by the third-person narrator, for the first time, later in the book.
In the chronology of the novel, Nicole’s section begins in Book Two. This is after we’ve seen Dick and Nicole’s fabulous lifestyle on the Riviera, after we’ve learned of her tragic past, and how she and Dick got together in the first place. In the chronology of Nicole’s life, it begins after she and Dick have decided to marry.
Her section can be divided into about twelve mini-sections, each characterized by a different form of the first person. It’s almost like snippets from a very creative diary, maybe the one being kept in Nicole’s mind, as if we are peering into a compressed version of her memory. The first of these min-sections is narrated in the first-person direct address – that is, it is Nicole directly addressing her lawyer and Baby Warren as they iron out the details of her marrying Dick, and how much of her enormous trust fund she’ll be able to access. We see what she’s saying to them, but don’t see their responses.
Many of the sections are Nicole directly addressing Dick, several seem to be addressing the reader, as in a traditional first person narrative, and others seem to be addressing a person (or people) she knows, but doesn’t name. All in all, her section gives us some important information that helps us understand her character, and the novel as a whole.
For example, this passage:
"Yes, the little book is selling everywhere—they want it published in six languages. I was to do the French translation but I’m tired these days—I’m afraid of falling, I’m so heavy and clumsy—like a broken roly-poly that can’t stand up straight."
It’s not clear who Nicole (pregnant with her first child) is talking to, but we learn something about Nicole’s ambitions, as well as Dick’s success as a writer of psychology books. His career seems to be taking off; and she wants to do something meaningful, a French translation. A few paragraphs later we find this passage:
When I get well I want to be a fine person like you, Dick – I would study medicine except it’s too late. […] You’re bored with Zurich and you can’t find time for writing here and you say that it’s a confession of weakness for a scientist not to write. And I’ll look over the whole field of knowledge and pick out something and really know about it, so I’ll have it to hang on to if I go to pieces again.
Nicole is desperately trying to get better here. Again, she wants to do something meaningful with her life that will keep her illness at bay. Also, remember when Dick says that Nicole tries to discourage him from working, motivated by a desire to "own" him completely? This casts doubt on the reliability of Dick’s perceptions with regard to Nicole, or if you believe Dick, it makes Nicole’s version sound unreliable.
At another point in her section, Nicole says, "[…] my principal interest in life is archeology. I am tired of knowing nothing and being reminded of it all the time." These three passages concerning Nicole’s ambition might make us feel sad for her when we read the passage that brings Nicole’s first person section back to the beginning of the book, on the beach, when Rosemary comes on the scene: "Everything is all right—if I can finish translating this damn recipe for chicken a la Maryland into French."
Instead of translating serious work, instead of pursuing her interest in archaeology, instead of finding something to study, Nicole is translating recipes. Like Dick, her potential is being squandered by the circumstances of their life.
Her first person section also gives us critical information regarding her mental illness. She says, "That was why he took me traveling but after my second child, my little girl, Topsy, was born everything got dark again." But why did she have such a hard time when Topsy was born? It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to figure out that maybe she was afraid that what happened to her, might happen to her daughter – either at the hands of her own father (even though she has no contact with him), or maybe even at the hands of Dick, though there is no explicit statement of this kind in the novel.
A few paragraphs later, we get a confirmation of Doctor Dohmler’s diagnoses, that Nicole has "a divided personality":
Talk is men. When I talk I say to myself that I am probably Dick. Already I have even been my son, remembering how wise and slow he is. Sometimes I am Doctor Dohmler and one time I may even be an aspect of you, Tommy Barban.
There is no doubt that Nicole was mentally ill, by most standards anyway, when we first see her on the beach, yet this gives us no indication of the really dark side of her illness, which we see when she tries to kill everybody in the car that day.
So, Nicole’s first person section is really important to understand her character and, in turn, to understand the novel. It counters the prevailing view that Nicole actively tries to keep Dick from working. It counters the view of someone like Kaethe Gregarovius who accuses Nicole of not really being mentally ill. It also illuminates, rather sadly, her potential and her ambition, which is wasting away, just like Dick’s.
And here’s one last point to consider. If we think about the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald was dealing with his wife’s mental illness when he was writing the novel, Nicole’s first-person section becomes problematic. You could see it as a cruel and presumptuous parody of madness. Alternatively, you can think of the first-person section as a brave and kind act, and attempt to give voice to a person who is constantly shut down from speaking, to allow Nicole to weigh in against all the other strong voices in the book. It could also, perhaps, be Fitzgerald's desperate attempt to understand his wife’s illness by becoming (at least while he was writing her first-person section) the fictional character upon whom she is largely based. What do you think?
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Nicole is a continence and women's health physiotherapist having graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor in Science degree in Physiotherapy in 1998 and completed her Graduate Certificate in Continence and Women’s Health in 2010. Nicole has a wealth of experience in women's health and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, with nearly twenty years clinical experience in this area. Nicole opened her practice in 2003 where she offers complete care for women in their childbearing years and prides herself with the honesty and integrity that she runs her business with.
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Call her picky, call her superficial, but the various titles you give to this girl don’t change the fact that she hasn’t found “the one.” Chances are she has come across the guy or girl who she so desperately wants a relationship to work with, but she just can’t make it happen. It might be a lack of “spark.” It might be a “just friends” type of vibe. Or maybe she is a superficial, picky bitch who only likes men with six packs. Whatever the reason is, sometimes if a girl hasn’t had many relationships, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t like them or doesn’t want one. She just doesn’t like the prospective men or women she could have one with, or they don’t like her in return. Whether it is her or the prospects, the puzzle pieces just haven’t matched up yet.The woman who everyone else wants a relationship with
She’s drop dead-gorgeous and everyone knows it, and hey she’s even got a brain to match. No matter how many things those long legs and enchanting eyes have gotten her in life, they haven’t gotten her a serious relationship. Maybe she has had a couple boyfriends here and there. Most likely plenty of hook-ups because she immediately grabs people’s attention, but in terms of monogamy with actual meaning and future promise it just hasn’t happened. This could be because others just aren’t sure how to handle her. Guys and girls either pretend to not be to attached to “play it cool” or they smother her because they don’t want her to be with anyone else. Either way, that girl that every other person on the planet wants a relationship with doesn’t necessarily always have relationships.The woman who loves her single lifestyle
We can all admit that a little alone time is nice. But some girls just like having it more often than others. No one wants that naggy boyfriend or girlfriend that is attached to your hip 24/7. We already have four limbs and we don’t need anymore. So sometimes if a girl doesn’t do relationships its just because she likes her own space and doesn’t need someone else in it all of the time. And if its not the alone time she loves about her single lifestyle, it’s the absence of monogamy. Monogamy is just too much for her to handle. In her mind: the more the merrier. She doesn’t feel the need to settle on just one person, and clearly she hasn’t.The woman who puts career first
All work and no play for this girl. She loves her job, and she has fun doing it. The fulfillment other people receive from a relationship, she receives from pursuing her career. This is a woman on the move and a relationship just isn’t written in her daily planner.The woman who has no more love to give
She is familiar with heartbreak, and it has definitely left a scar, or two, or three. She has invested a lot of time and love into previous relationships, and none of them have worked out. Even worse, maybe few of them have ended well. This girl just really needs to be alone and can’t handle even the thought of attempting another relationship. Her love tank is empty, and her relationship status is single.
By Amelia Proud 23:58 GMT 27 Jan 2013, updated 10:11 GMT 28 Jan 2013
With the alcohol fuelled fun of the Golden Globes behind them and the stiff old Oscars just a month away, the stars turned to the SAG Awards on Sunday night for another round of backslapping and merriment.
And while this poor cousin of the really glamorous events can't lay claim to be the sexiest ceremony around, the 19th annual awards held at LA's Shrine auditorium managed to at least plenty of red carpet inspiration.
Holding back the major frocks for the Oscars, the overriding trend was a wall of monochrome as seen on leading ladies Anne Hathaway, Julianne Moore and Claire Danes.
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And it was a wise one to follow as the black and white gowns grabbed attention against the red carpet, while Jessica Chastain - who dressed in a similar red - almost disappeared.Related Articles
Anne Hathaway and Nicole Kidman opted for dark and dramatic gowns; with the latter embracing the trend for midnight black.
Hathaway, who accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress, looked incredible in a prom style Giambattista Valli gown which used layers of diaphanous black material over a shorter skirt.
Nicole's embellished beauty was the handiwork of Vivienne Westwood, and added a punk edge to an otherwise polished look and used the now popular blue layering over black as its winning note.
The Australian looked like she was having a great time, larking around with director Tom Hooper on the red carpet and showing off her long slim legs in the split gown.
Meanwhile Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery flashed more flesh than her elegant on-screen alter ego with a gown which showed off a substantial amount of 'side boob'.
Julianne Moore, who won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Movie Series for her portrayal of politician Sarah Palin in Game Change combined white, black and navy in her Chanel appliqué dress.
Looking stunning as always, the 52-year-old was one of the winners on the California carpet.
Combining the trend just as skilfully were January Jones, Julianna Margulies and Claire Danes, who won her award for Best Actress in a drama.
Funny ladies Tina Fey and Amy Poehler both stuck to classic black, Fey was outstanding in Oscar de la Renta.
And special mentions have to go out to Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried, who wore variations on the light and dark them by choosing lightest silver grey and a dark, dark blue.
Jessica Chastain looked stunning in a strapless scarlet Alexander McQueen dress which clashed with her long red hair.
However, she ended up leaving the ceremony empty handed after losing to Jennifer Lawrence for Outstanding Lead Actress.
Lawrence looked stunning on the carpet despite getting over a recent bout of pneumonia, sporting a Dior Haute Couture dress with Chopard jewellery.
Fashion Police star Kelly Osbourne pushed boundaries with her studded black Jenny Packham dress which she teamed with a striking purple hairstyle and chunky jewellery.
It was fitting on a night that honoured the biggest fantasy hit of our TV times, Game of Thrones for its stunt work, that Ariel Winter also joined in the natural inspired fantasy theme.
She wore a stunning beige gown which branched out into taffeta in the skirt and featured foliage on the corset, Jayma Mays and champagne heiress, Vitalie Tattinger, also showed off pale gowns that looked fit for a regal ball.
Continuing the theme, that old hero of fantasy and magical awards, Dick Van Dyke was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 87-year-old 'Night at the Museum' star - who has been working in Hollywood since the 60s - admitted he can't wait to accept the award at the star-studded 19th annual event in Los Angeles because it means a lot to be celebrated as an actor rather than an entertainer.
Speaking to People.com before the event, the Diagnosis Murder star said: 'This was a surprise. People think of me as a song and dance entertainer. To be accepted by my peers as an actor is really a thrill.'
The actor also revealed that he will be celebrating his seven-year anniversary with his 41-year-old wife Arlene, who he first met at the 2006 SAG Awards, where she was working as a make-up artist.
He said: 'There was something about her beautiful eyes.'
The couple married in a 'spur of the moment' ceremony in Malibu, California, on February 29 last year.
Mary Poppins star Dick - who presented Mary Tyler Moore with the Lifetime Achievement award last year - was first married in 1948 to Margie Willett in a ceremony broadcast live on radio show 'Bride and Groom'. They have four grown up children together, but divorced in 1984 after a long separation.
The actor also had a relationship with actress Michelle Triola from 1976 until her death from lung cancer in 2009.
Van Dyke and his new wife shared a chat and a photograph with Damian Lewis and his wife Helen McCrory on the carpet as they made their way into the ceremony.
The James Bond adventure Skyfall and the fantasy series Game of Thrones picked up prizes for best stunt work from the Screen Actors Guild.
The stunt honours were announced Sunday on the red carpet before the official SAG Awards ceremony, as stars were gathering for their guild's big night.
JoBeth Williams and Scott Bakula announced the winners, noting the value of stunt players, who often are overlooked for their contributions to film and television.SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS 2013: COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS
Actor. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Supporting actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Supporting actress. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Stunt ensemble. Skyfall
Actor in a movie or miniseries. Kevin Costner Hatfields & McCoys
Actress in a movie or miniseries. Julianne Moore, Game Change
Actor in a drama series. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Actress in a drama series. Claire Danes, Homeland
Actor in a comedy series. Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Actress in a comedy series. Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Drama series cast: Downton Abbey
Comedy series cast. Modern Family
Stunt ensemble. Game of ThronesVIDEO FASHION RUNDOWN Monochrome dominates the SAG red carpet VIDEO Jennifer Lawrence's dress rips as she gets up to collect award VIDEO What a boob! Anne Hathaway's husband's hand slips as he congratulates her on win VIDEO We are killing it! Thirteen top actors take to the stage to honour Argo's SAG award
A promising psychologist from Buffalo who attends Yale, Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Johns Hopkins. He falls in love with Nicole Warren, a mental patient, and becomes her husband and psychiatrist. He is extremely charismatic and magnetic at the beginning of the novel, but he and his life slowly unravel as he loses ambition and becomes an alcoholic.Nicole Diver
The daugher of the wealthy Devereux Warren, Nicole is a beautiful but somewhat guarded woman who, as a child, was molested by her father. She falls in love with Dick Diver at a mental clinic (where she is diagnosed with schizophrenia) and becomes increasingly strong and independent over the course of their marriage.Rosemary Hoyt
A beautiful, young American movie star. She studied acting in Paris and stars in Daddy's Girl. which is her big break. She travels with her mother, who is both her best friend and her business manager. She falls in love with Dick Diver at first sight on a beach on the French Riviera and seduces him into an affair that contributes to destroying his marriage.Tommy Barban
Somewhat of a barbaric anarchist, Tommy is a mercenary soldier, willing to fight in any war for any cause. He spends five years in love with Nicole before she finally gives in and they marry.
A close friend of Dick's and an alcoholic American musician who surrenders his career to his addiction. He is involved with the murder of a black man in Paris and, eventually, is beaten to death in a speakeasy in New York.Mary North/Countess di Minghetti
Abe's subservient and accommodating wife who, after Abe's death, remarries to the Conte di Minghetti. She is imprisoned (and may be romantically involved) with Lady Caroline Sibley-Biers, but she is saved by Dick Diver.Baby Warren
Nicole's older sister. She is entirely poisoned by her great wealth, and she only associates with people whom she can use for her convenience. She dates many men, expressing a partiality for the British, but she never marries. She tries to oversee and dictate Nicole's life.Devereux Warren
The father of Baby and Nicole. A Chicago native, he is both father and mother to Nicole after his wife dies. Mr. Warren molests Nicole when she is about 15 and obeys orders not to see her again. He suffers from alcohol-related liver failure, and he flees from Lausanne before his death.Albert McKisco
A lauded American writer who, following a duel with Tommy Barban, has the confidence to launch a real career.Violet McKisco
Albert McKisco's wife.Mrs. Speers
Rosemary Hoyt's twice-widowed mother, best friend, and business manager. She is patient and wise, and she encourages Rosemary to pursue Dick Diver.Collis Clay
A student from Yale and a friend of Rosemary's who ends up studying architecture in Florence. He is in love with Rosemary and seems to follow her around Europe. He helps Baby Warren get Dick Diver out of a jail in Rome.Lady Caroline Sibley-Biers
A British woman and possibly the Countess di Minghetti's lover. Dick insults her at a boat party but helps to rescue her and the Countess from prison.Conte di Minghetti
Hosain di Minghetti is Mary North's second husband.Luis Campion
A homosexual friend of Albert McKisco who is somehow heartbroken by Royal Dumphry. He takes Rosemary to see the duel between McKisco and Tommy Barban.Earl Brady
An American filmmaker working in France at the time of Rosemary's vacation. He is attracted to Rosemary and wants to work with her. He is also a friend of the Divers.Jules Peterson
An African-American man who, because of his attempt to help Abe North convict the man who stole his money, is murdered on Rosemary's hotel bed.Lanier Diver
Dick's son and eldest child. He is bright, inquisitive, and wants to be like his father.Topsy Diver
Dick's beautiful young daughter, who resembles Nicole.Dr. Dohmler
The head psychologist at the clinic in Zurich. He initially handles Nicole Warren's case and urges Dick not to become involved with her.Franz Gregorovius
A resident pathologist at Dohmler's clinic on the Zurichsee. He is a few years older than Dick, is proud and fiery, and has "holy eyes." He becomes deeply involved in Nicole's case and, subsequently, in her relationship with Dick. He and Dick become business partners and open their own clinic, but he nudges Dick out when Dick becomes an alcoholic.Maria Wallis
An American acquaintance of the Divers who kills an Englishman at a train station.Prince Chillicheff
A Russian Prince whom Tommy Barban rescues from several years of hiding in Russia.Royal Dumphry
A homosexual friend of the McKiscos who is involved with Luis Campion and, later, with a young man whom Dick Diver visits in order to cure his homosexuality.Dr. Ladislau
A psychologist at Dick's and Franz's clinic. Dick does not like him.Kaethe Gregorovius
Franz's beloved wife. She and Nicole do not get along because Nicole does not like the way that she smells. She mistakenly tells Nicole that Devereux Warren is dying.Senor Pardo y Cuidad Real
Chilean father of Francisco, a young homosexual man. He is desperate to have his son "cured" of his alcoholism and homosexuality. He speaks with Franz Gregorovius, who sends Dick to handle the case.
A young homosexual and alcoholic (possibly involved with Royal Dumphry) whom Dick Diver is sent to cure.Patrick Von Cohn Morris
A young alcoholic and kleptomaniac who is removed from Dick and Franz's clinic by his parents after he discovers liquor on Dick's breath.Mr. and Mrs. Morris
Patrick's parents, who angrily remove him from the clinic because of their son's report that Dick is an alcoholic.Casasus, Perrin, and Muchhause
Bankers in Paris with whom Dick is familiar.Mrs. Abrams
A friend of the McKiscos.