Babylon Revisited

by: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Marion Peters

Marion acts both as a stand-in and a foil for the reader. On the one hand, we likely share all her reservations about Charlie. On the other hand, her off-putting personal qualities set us against her. We want to dismiss her reservations, even if we know we shouldn’t, which puts us even more firmly in Charlie’s camp. Marion is the mirror image of Charlie: although logic demands that we approve of her actions, her prickly personality masks her essential goodness and makes her difficult to like. Marion is unhappy with her own life and focuses her frustrations on Charlie, but there’s no doubt that she is a good woman. She has taken Honoria in, treated her as her own child, and brought her up to be a happy, self-sufficient girl. She also loves her husband. Her marriage to him is the most successful romantic adult relationship in the story, a stark contrast to Charlie’s disastrous marriage, which ended in senseless destruction. Still, Marion’s judgmental tone and slight air of irrationality make her an unsympathetic character. Because we see Marion from Charlie’s perspective, we focus only on her frustrations rather than her good motivations.