Babylon Revisited

Duncan Schaeffer Character Analysis

An old friend of Charlie’s from college. Duncan is one of the few people left in Paris that Charlie knows from his time living there. Unlike Charlie, however, Duncan doesn’t seem to have sobered up or matured at all since losing everything in the crash. Rather, he continues to drink and party. Although Charlie initially leaves his address for Duncan at the Ritz, he seems to change his mind about wanting to see Duncan after they run into each other and Charlie realizes that his old social group has become repellent to him. Charlie sees Duncan as a ghost from his past life, and therefore he politely turns down Duncan’s repeated invitations to go out together. When Duncan and Lorraine Quarrles show up drunk at Marion Peters’ house without an invitation, the intrusion disturbs Marion Peters so much that it causes her to change her mind about allowing Charlie to take Honoria back to Prague with him.

Duncan Schaeffer Quotes in Babylon Revisited

The Babylon Revisited quotes below are all either spoken by Duncan Schaeffer or refer to Duncan Schaeffer . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Babylon Revisited published in 1995.
Section 2 Quotes

Somehow, an unwelcome encounter. They liked him because he was functioning, because he was serious; they wanted to see him, because he was stronger than they were now, because they wanted to draw a certain sustenance from his strength.

Related Characters: Charlie Wales, Duncan Schaeffer , Lorraine Quarrles
Page Number: 623
Explanation and Analysis:

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Duncan Schaeffer Character Timeline in Babylon Revisited

The timeline below shows where the character Duncan Schaeffer appears in Babylon Revisited. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 2
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Suddenly Charlie and Honoria’s lunch is interrupted by Duncan Schaeffer and Lorraine Quarrles, “two ghosts out of the past” who greet him enthusiastically. Duncan... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
However, Duncan and Lorraine are persistent. They offer dinner, and Charlie declines again, saying he’ll call them.... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...opportunity to influence her development at all. During the intermission, Charlie and Honoria run into Duncan and Lorraine and agree to sit with them for a drink. At the table, Charlie... (full context)
Section 4
...the doorbell rings, and rings again as a maid opens the door, and in walk Duncan Schaeffer and Lorraine Quarrles, laughing hysterically. Charlie takes a moment to realize how they found... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Duncan explains that he and Lorraine came to invite Charlie to dinner. He says they insist... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...those “kind of people make her really physically sick.” Charlie explains that he didn’t invite Duncan and Lorraine, but Lincoln responds that it’s “too bad” and it “doesn’t help matters.” Lincoln... (full context)
Section 5
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...the Peters’ house to the Ritz bar. Furious, he thinks he might find Lorraine and Duncan, but when they’re not there he realizes there’s nothing he could do anyway. He orders... (full context)