Chapter 6 Summary

Ralph Marvell walks to his Union Square home after the opera. As he sits before the fireplace, he reflects on his past. He received a good education; he went to Harvard and then Oxford, and he finished with a degree in law. Like other gentlemen of his day, after graduating he was not expected to do much with his law degree and was especially not pressed to make money. The general custom, in cases such as his, was to “lapse into more or less cultivated inaction” as his life’s path. Following the rules of his society, he should actually cultivate a disdain for “mere money-getting.”

It is not that the Marvells have a lot of money, but Ralph would be allotted enough to live on for his entire life if he is frugal....

(The entire section is 521 words.)