The Beautiful and Damned Book 3, Chapter 1 Summary
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Book 3, Chapter 1 Summary

Anthony travels down to the South with the troop train. This is a new experience for him, and he meets a different class of people from that to which he is accustomed. As they arrive at Camp Hooker, Anthony smells the garbage that is typical of a boot camp of the period. He struggles to adjust to the primitive living conditions, the rules and regulations. While walking down the street of a nearby town, he is stopped by an officer and is vociferously berated for not saluting. Two girls watch him and giggle. Later Anthony meets one of them; she is named Dorothy Raycroft, or Dot. They immediately form a connection, and Anthony arranges to meet her later.

Anthony begins an affair with Dot simply because of his inability to say “no.” She is nineteen; she graduated from high school in the bottom fourth of her class and with a very unsavory reputation. She has had three lovers since high school, none of whom have taken her seriously. The boys she knew in high school pass by her without acknowledging her existence, which hurts her feelings. When Anthony arrives, she is ready to take this affair seriously.

Gradually adjusting to camp life, Anthony is taken aback when Gloria suggests that she should come to the South and join the Red Cross, as Muriel has done. Anthony does not want her there, however. He calls up Dot and arranges to meet her.

Anthony is promoted to corporal. Gloria’s letters become more hurried and less frequent. She no longer mentions the possibility of her coming south. The next summer, Anthony learns that his division is moving to a different camp. He goes to bid Dot farewell. She is beside herself and threatens to commit suicide if he should leave her. He tells her that this parting was inevitable.

In September, as he adjusts to the surroundings of his new camp, Camp Boone in Mississippi, he writes Gloria to hear what the matter is with her; he has not received a letter from her in two weeks. He worries that she might have found someone else, just as he has. Dot has followed him to Mississippi and stays in a boarding house that Anthony pays for. To do this, he has to borrow money from his broker. He is trying to find some way to break it off with her and...

(The entire section is 620 words.)