A character development sketch of the main character Charlie in “Babylon Revisted” by F. Scott Fitzgerald .
This paper looks at the character Charlie in Fitzgerald’s Babylon Revisited and shows the development of his character throughout the story, paying particular attention to the degree to which he is reformed. It further investigates whether Charlie is worthy of his honor, Honoria.
Fitzgerald’s Babylon Revisited shows how ones seemingly harmless, insignificant actions of the present can destroy ones conscious wishes for the future, and it shows the development of a seemingly already developed character. Charlie Wales is a man that was filthy rich in the booming twenties. ?[Charlie] remembered thousand-franc notes given to an orchestra for playing a single number, hundred franc notes tossed to a doorman for calling a cab? (1662). Since he had made so much money in the stock market, he and his now deceased wife Helen did not have to work and were able to spend their time and money at the Ritz bar, a bar in Paris that gave most of its business to wealthy Americans during the 1920’s. Charlie and Helen lived the party life, complete with drugs and alcohol that ended up literally destroying Helen’s life and figuratively destroying Charlie’s. One night, when Charlie and Helen were in an argument, Charlie went home locked the door and went to sleep not knowing that Helen would arrive an hour later alone, that there would be a snowstorm in which she wandered about in slippers, too confused to find a taxi (1668). Helen survived pneumonia but died from heart trouble, and Charlie went to a sanitarium, leaving Honoria to live with Helen’s sister Marion Peters and her husband Lincoln. In the early 1930’s, after Charlie has lost his wife, money, and eventually his daughter, and lives lonely in Prague, he returns to Paris to get his honor, Honoria, back. Charlie loved his wife and he loves his daughter. He abides by his one drink-a-day rule and believes that he is capable of being a good father to her which he wants to be before her childhood is over; he is also lonely and wants her companionship, and she is all there is left of Helen, whom he misses very much.