Questions for chapter 17
- Describe Jake’s awakening after Robert calls him a “pimp” and hits him.
- Why is the statement the truth?
- How does his walk show renewed sensations about life?
- What does the bath represent?
Jake hits Robert when Robert calls him a pimp because on some level, Jake believes there is some truth to it. Pimps usually do not have sex with their girls, and Jake is incapable of having sex with Brett because of his injury. So the pimp comment emasculates Jake. Plus, Jake is in love with Brett, even though he knows she is promiscuous. Everyone is fed up with Robert anyway because he is constantly throwing his morals in their faces. He doesn't drink all the time, like the others, and he is old fashioned in his values -- wanting to make a lady out of Brett in the true sense. She is a lady in title only, because she does not act like a lady in Robert's view.
When Jake is walking back to his hotel, he expeeriences a kind of awakening. He says he feels like everything is new. He notices things he never noticed before. What do you think this means? Perhaps he has realized the truth, and the truth has set him free?
Both Robert and Jake say they need to take a deep, hot bath. They both feel the need to cleanse themselves. Robert wants to cleanse himself from the twisted values of this group of friends. They do not share his values, they do not like him, they are constantly telling him to get lost (especially Mike), they insult him for being a Jew, and he has put up with it because he loves Brett. But he realizes that Brett is not going to change, so he needs a bath to wash it all away -- especially her. Jake wants to take a bath to cleanse himself as well, but he is unable to get the water to work. On many other levels, Jake is not working, so the bath is symbolic of Jake's physical dysfunctions as well.