Book 2, Chapter 1 Summary
It is the February after the end of the war. In a townhouse in New York, the sister of Alec Connage (Amory’s friend and now roommate) is preparing for her debut. Written in the style of a play, the action describes the spoiled Rosalind as she makes herself the center of everyone’s lives. Amory is arriving at the home this night, and Mrs. Connage warns Alec that there will be precious little time to make him welcome because all the attention must be on Rosalind. Alec describes Amory as temperamental, which peaks Rosalind’s interest. Rosalind’s sixteen-year-old sister, Cecelia, is cynical about the whole “coming out” business but secretly admires all the drama surrounding it.
Amory unwittingly stumbles into Rosalind’s dressing room. She invites him in and begins to display her personality. She tells him that she has kissed many men and plans on kissing many more. Amory falls instantly in love and they kiss. Amory explains to Rosalind that he is not sentimental but romantic. Sentimental people think things will last; a romantic person hopes that they don’t. Amory leaves after kissing her again, and Mrs. Connage enters. She warns Rosalind that this is her chance to acquire a rich husband. She has several prospects lined up and tells Rosalind to keep on the dance floor and not run off to a corner with some young, inappropriate college boy. Rosalind speaks of Amory, but Mrs. Connage is not optimistic about his prospects. Amory and Rosalind dance and profess their love for one another.
Mrs. Connage does not encourage Amory and Rosalind’s love affair. Amory finds a job working in an advertising agency, which does not pay much. He spends as much time with Rosalind as possible. Rosalind tells Amory she will marry him whenever he wants. They talk of a June or July wedding, but...
(The entire section is 473 words.)