What differences in the characters' underlying attitudes and values emerge from their conversation? Which character seems to be the more honest and mature? One critic says that "the story is about transience and loss-about failed possibility." Do you agree?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The man who is described only as the American is confronted by a problem which threatens his way of life. The "girl" is pregnant and he wants her to have an abortion. She is obviously the more honest and mature of the two. She wants to have the baby and settle down to a normal life. She is fed up with their meaningless existence, with being strangers in a strange land. She realizes that life offers very little in the way of happiness and that he has been chasinig after an illusion while she has been simply following him. At one point she says:

That's all we do, isn't it--look at things and try new drinks?"

Their heavy luggage with all the hotel labels shows that they have been traveling around Europe for a long time. It is very cheap in Europe in those days. The price of the first two beers they buy amounts to only about two cents in American money.

Having the baby would mean that the man would have to give up his vagabond life and get a steady job. He is selfish, but he is not a complete...

(The entire section contains 647 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team