Book I, Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis
Baron Mumms: the Count’s friend who makes wine
Henry: the Count’s chauffeur
Jake escapes to his hotel and finds Brett has been there. Although last night the concierge had thought Brett to be crude, today she says Brett is very gentile. After Jake showers, Brett arrives with Count Mippipopolous, who is one of her admirers.
While Jake is dressing, Brett comes in to see what is wrong with him. He again vows his love to her. Brett sends the Count away for champagne while Jake lies on the bed. He is trying to deal with his apparent arousal and love for Brett but inability to do anything about either of them. He asks her to live with him or go off to the country. Brett says she could not live in the country with anyone, even her true love. She says she cannot say she loves him even though he vows his love to her.
Brett tells him she is going to San Sebastian and refuses his offer to go along. When the Count returns with champagne, they discuss values. They go to dinner and afterward go dancing. As they are dancing, Brett realizes she has not thought about Michael for
As they are dancing, Brett again admits to Jake she is miserable. Jake realizes this is the same pattern their relationship has taken in the past. Jake takes Brett home and kisses her at the door. She pushes him away in frustration; then Jake goes back to his flat.
In this chapter the relationship between Brett and Jake comes full circle. Jake shows his adoration for her in the scene at his flat. He pitifully violates his dignity by begging Brett to live with him or go with him to the country. Just vowing his love for her degrades him since he knows how she feels about him.
Brett’s saying she is miserable is a repeat of their prior conversation. Jake has the “feeling of going through something that has all happened before.” There is no real progress or development in their relationship. Jake is her only friend, she says, because she jokes with other people but not him. She does not have to don falseness with him because he is not a sexual creature in her eyes. The end of Book I and the Paris wasteland is the same as the taxi scene when Jake is offering her tenderness, but she pushes him away.
She realizes Jake has an authenticity others do not. She says, “We all have titles” except Jake. Titles, either real or supposed, grant them entrance into this glittering wasteland Paris has become. Though he has no title, Jake’s scars gain him entrance into this coterie of the disillusioned. He has been injured from war and is unable to perform physically.
But his scars are no more pronounced than Brett’s in her inability to find love and fulfillment. Twice she has said she is miserable. She lost her love and now is marrying for the third time, as soon as her divorce is final. There is not only no mention of love for Mike, but she does not even think of him for a week.
When the Count shows scars of his wounds, she repeats he is one of them. The fact they all have been wounded in some way, especially by this generation’s loss of innocence, allows them entrance into this special club.
Not only Jake but also the Count can see through Brett’s facade. He says she and Jake should be together. Ironically, Brett is marrying Mike out of desperation but says she cannot marry Jake because they have their “careers.” When Jake adds, “We want to lead our own lives” the lost generation’s attitude toward self-fulfillment is presented. They are searching for something to fill the void left by their dissatisfaction with current conventional politics and attitudes.
The Count realizes Brett does not “need a title. You got class all over you,” he tells her. He thinks she is charming when she is drunk but sees wildness as a defense mechanism....
(The entire section is 1,043 words.)