What is Eva's reaction when she sees the steward on her bed in The Rough Crossing? What impression do we get of Eva at this stage?

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When Eva opens the door to her state-room, she's astonished to discover a ship's steward sitting on her bed. Far from being startled, the steward stares at Eva listlessly, making no effort to get up from the bed. It soon becomes clear why this is. The steward is suffering from seasickness; his face is green and he has a pain in his side.

But Eva is thoroughly unsympathetic to the poor man's predicament. She tells him that when he's finished his nap he can go and fetch her a new pillowcase. After she sees that the steward's face is green, she further tells him that he can't be seasick in her room and that he should go and lie down in his own quarters instead.

Eva rings for the stewardess, and after she helps the sick steward to leave, Eva crashes down on the bed, her head spinning. Eva blames the steward for her condition; it made her sick just to look at him. Outrageously, she wishes he would die.

Suffice to say, the impression we get from Eva in this episode is not very positive, to say the least. She comes across as haughty, superior, and a bit of a drama queen. Perhaps the steward should've stayed in his quarters if he was feeling sick, but Eva's unsympathetic and over-the-top reaction was completely unnecessary. Like a lot of well-to-do characters in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, it would seem that Eva has an innate contempt for society's lower orders.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 2, 2020
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