Babylon Revisited

Lorraine Quarrles Character Analysis

Lorraine is an old friend of Charlie’s from the time he lived in Paris. Though Charlie once found Lorraine very attractive, he avoids her now. When Lorraine and Duncan run into Charlie at lunch, Charlie is repelled by them, describing them as ghosts from his past life—reminders of his recklessness and irresponsibility. Charlie notes that Lorraine looks older, but she doesn’t seem to have emotionally matured at all. Fitzgerald insinuates that there may have been more than just a simple flirtation between Charlie and Lorraine before Charlie left Paris—that perhaps they had had an affair. When Charlie repeatedly denies Lorraine’s requests to meet him, she reacts bitterly. Her and Duncan’s drunken appearance at Marion Peters’ home sets Marion on the path to changing her mind about allowing Charlie to take Honoria back to Prague with him.

Lorraine Quarrles Quotes in Babylon Revisited

The Babylon Revisited quotes below are all either spoken by Lorraine Quarrles or refer to Lorraine Quarrles . 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.

Page Number: 623
Explanation and Analysis:
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Section 4 Quotes

His first feeling was one of awe that he had actually, in his mature years, stolen a tricycle and pedaled Lorraine all over the Étoile between the small hours and dawn. In retrospect it was a nightmare. Locking out Helen didn't fit in with any other act of his life, but the tricycle incident did--it was one of many. How many weeks or months of dissipation to arrive at that condition of utter irresponsibility?

Page Number: 629
Explanation and Analysis:
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He tried to picture how Lorraine had appeared to him then—very attractive; Helen was unhappy about it, though she said nothing. Yesterday, in the restaurant, Lorraine had seemed trite, blurred, worn away. He emphatically did not want to see her, and he was glad Alix had not given away his hotel address. It was a relief to think, instead, of Honoria, to think of Sundays spent with her and of saying good morning to her and of knowing she was there in his house at night, drawing her breath in the darkness.

Page Number: 629-630
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lorraine Quarrles Character Timeline in Babylon Revisited

The timeline below shows where the character Lorraine Quarrles 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 is a friend... (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. Lorraine supposes... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...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 is barely... (full context)
Section 4
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
When he returns to his hotel, Charlie finds a letter waiting for him from Lorraine Quarrles. She writes that he behaved so strangely toward her the other day that she... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...many weeks or months of dissipation” it takes for a person to behave that way. Lorraine had always been very attractive to him—which had bothered Helen—but now she seems “trite, blurred,... (full context)
...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 the Peters’ address,... (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 that “all this shishi, cagy... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...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 excuses himself.... (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
...directly from 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.... (full context)