Robert goes to America and gets his book accepted by an American publisher. While he is there, attention from several women raises his self-confidence. This also makes him lose interest in Frances, since he realizes he has something to offer women.
He reads The Purple Land by W. H. Hudson. This describes imaginary romantic adventures that Robert takes as gospel. These things combined make him dissatisfied with his life, so he tries to talk Jake into a trip to South America. Jake refuses because he not only likes Paris but also goes to Spain in the summer.
Jake and Robert go for a drink. Robert regrets that his life is half over. He does not like Paris and thinks South America will cure his dissatisfaction. Jake’s normal exit line to get away from Robert does not work, and he goes to the office with Jake. He sits, waits, and reads while Jake works hard for a few hours. When Jake goes to the outer office, Robert is asleep in the chair with his head in his arms.
As Robert awakens, he cries out in his sleep. He pretends it is a dream, but he says he did not sleep the night before because he and Frances were talking.
Chapter 2 foreshadows Robert’s falling so hard later for Brett. He has never been in love nor has he felt he has anything to offer a woman until now. Robert wants to live life. His is half over, and he has not loved.
This chapter also contrasts Jake and Robert. Robert sees bullfighting as an “abnormal life” while Jake thinks “nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.” This appreciation for bullfighters becomes part of Jake’s code later in the story.
Robert wants to live a different life; Jake is satisfied with...
(The entire section contains 471 words.)
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