What I think is missing in Stud's life, is his inablility to let the softer side, the emotional, sympathetic side of his personality exist. At an early age, Stud decided that he would have a tough guy persona. From then on, he blocked the other side of him, and even at times when he tries to let it out, he is thwarted by the universe, and his path of self-destruction continues. He must belittle education, turning away from the genteel world he identifies with the intellectual in favor of what he sees as the tough, manly life of the pool hall and the gin joint. He also denies the responsiveness he feels toward nature, as demonstrated in the passages when he is in the parks or near the lake. Stud's struggles, because although he appreciates these things, they don't go with his image, so he ignores the feelings, and continues to self-destruct. Studs had possibilites, but once he started denying the sympathetic side of his nature, he became unwilling, or unable to stop going down the path he has chosen.