Chapters 8-9 Summary
In the morning, Minnie finds Carrie’s note. Hanson is cynical and indifferent. Minnie aches for the choice her sister has made. Carrie wakes up alone in her new flat. The following day, Drouet takes her to breakfast and to go shopping for more clothes. Over the next several days, he takes her sightseeing throughout Chicago. She sees the opera and dines in high-class restaurants. Occasionally, Carrie thinks of her old life and how far she has separated herself from it. One day, Carrie recognizes one of the shop girls from the shoe factory; she looks at Carrie with vague recognition. Carrie feels that a great distance has been created between her life now and the life of the shabby factory girl.
Carrie continues to feel some guilt, though she is described as having no “excellent home principles” on which her morality would have been based. If she had, she would have felt guiltier than she does at present. Drouet takes her home after a night on the town and waits expectantly on the front steps. At that moment, Minnie is having a bad dream. She sees Carrie standing beside a deep mine shaft. Carrie suggests to Minnie that they go in, but Minnie refuses. Carrie goes in alone, out of reach of her sister. The scene changes and the two sisters are beside deep waters, which are gradually overtaking them. Minnie sees Carrie sinking farther away until she disappears. She awakens when Hanson shakes her, telling her that she had been talking in her sleep.
Drouet meets Hurstwood when he returns to Fitzgerald and Moy’s. Drouet invites Hurstwood to come to his house some time. He tells him that he wants to introduce him to someone.
Hurstwood’s home life is uninspiring. His wife frequently must dismiss servants because of her difficulty in being pleased with their service. His daughter, Jessica, upon whom he used to lavish attention, is in high school and has become spoiled. She associates with a group of girls whose families are above hers socially, so she spends a lot on new dresses. Hurstwood’s son, George Jr., is twenty years old and involved in real estate. He contributes no money to the home but is vaguely assumed to be saving money to invest. Hurstwood’s relationship with his wife is one of distance. They do not communicate enough to argue. He contemplates being unfaithful but decides against it because of the possible trouble it may cause. An acquaintance invites him on a ten-day trip to Philadelphia. Hurstwood explains to his wife that it is a business trip on which she cannot come. She is unsettled, but Hurstwood gives her no other information.