The Beautiful and Damned

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Gloria Gilbert Character Analysis

Gloria meets Anthony Patch while she and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert, are wintering at The Plaza in New York. The pair shortly begin dating, and within a few months they decide to marry one another. This marriage takes place much to the chagrin of Gloria’s other suitors, especially the movie producer Joseph Bloeckman. Anthony initially finds himself attracted to Gloria because of the way she spends her days and nights out on the town on the dime of all these suitors. He admires that, in a sense, she is a professional beauty. In fact, Fitzgerald introduces Gloria to the novel shortly after interrupting the narrative with a dramatic scene that sets up the reincarnation of Beauty personified as a Jazz Age society girl like Gloria. Even if Gloria is not this specific society girl, she is at least an iteration of her, making her a copy of Beauty herself. Because Gloria’s identity is so bound up with beauty, which is by nature ephemeral, she finds herself growing ever more anxious about her age. As opposed to Anthony, who worries about death, Gloria worries more about living without the bloom of youth. In addition to wanting her body to remain beautiful, she also insists on buying a country house and other objects to craft a beautiful image of her life with Anthony. No matter how much she buys, she is never satisfied. At 29, upon finally realizing that she is too old to be a starring actress and that she and Anthony have spent themselves into a corner, she imagines moving to Europe for a few years and then simply dying rather than finding a way to move through society on any quality other than beauty. In the final scene of the novel, Gloria is curiously absent from Anthony’s side. Her disappearance from the novel recalls the scene of Beauty’s Jazz Age reincarnation, in which Beauty was told that her time as a society girl would last fifteen years. At the time of the final scene, it has indeed been fifteen years since the reincarnation. Gloria is an embodiment of beauty that sweeps through Anthony’s life and leaves him a ruin of his former self.

Gloria Gilbert Quotes in The Beautiful and Damned

The The Beautiful and Damned quotes below are all either spoken by Gloria Gilbert or refer to Gloria Gilbert. 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:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Beautiful and Damned published in 1922.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Portrait of a Siren”

Related Characters: Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

While it seemed to him that the average débutante spent every hour of her day thinking and talking about what the great world had mapped out for her to do during the next hour, any girl who made a living directly on her prettiness interested him enormously.

Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

“…[Dick] says the biography of every woman begins with the first kiss that counts, and ends when her last child is laid in her arms…He says unloved women have no biographies – they have histories.”

Related Characters: Gloria Gilbert (speaker), Anthony Patch, Richard Caramel
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Her eyes appeared to regard him out of many thousand years: all emotion she might have felt, all words she might have uttered, would have seemed inadequate beside the adequacy of her silence, ineloquent against the eloquence of her beauty—and of her body, close to him, slender and cool.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

Her arms fell to her side. In an instant she was free.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Always the most poignant moments were when some artificial barrier kept them apart: in the theatre their hands would steal together, join, give and return gentle pressures through the long dark; in crowded rooms they would form words with their lips for each other’s eyes—not knowing that they were but following in the footsteps of dusty generations but comprehending dimly that if truth is the end of life happiness is a mode of it, to be cherished in its brief and tremulous moment. And then, one fairy night, May became June. Sixteen days now—fifteen—fourteen—

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 118-19
Explanation and Analysis:

…After a moment she found a pencil and holding it unsteadily drew three parallel lines beneath the last entry. Then she printed FINIS in large capitals, put the book back in the drawer, and crept into bed.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

In a moment he would call Tana and they would pour into themselves a gay and delicate poison which would restore them momentarily to the pleasurable excitement of childhood, when every face in a crowd had carried its suggestion of splendid and significant transactions taking place somewhere to some magnificent and illimitable purpose…Life was no more than this summer afternoon; a faint wind stirring the lace collar of Gloria’s dress, the slow baking drowsiness of the veranda…Intolerably unmoved they all seemed, removed from any romantic imminency of action. Even Gloria’s beauty needed wild emotions, needed poignancy, needed death…

Page Number: 184-5
Explanation and Analysis:

She was at the top now and could see the lands about her as successive sweeps of open country, cold under the moon, coarsely patched and seamed with thin rows and heavy clumps of trees…The oppression was lifted now – the tree-tops below her were rocking the young starlight to a haunted doze. She stretched out her arms with a gesture of freedom. This was what she had wanted, to stand alone where it was high and cool.

Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Things had been slipping perceptibly. There was the money question, increasingly annoying, increasingly ominous; there was the realization that liquor had become a practical necessity to their amusement – not an uncommon phenomenon in the British aristocracy of a hundred years ago, but a somewhat alarming one in a civilization steadily becoming more temperate and more circumspect. Moreover, both of them seemed vaguely weaker in fibre, not so much in what they did as in their subtle reactions to the civilization about them.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

The phone clicked. Her eyes looking along the floor saw his feet cut the pattern of a patch of sunlight on the carpet. She arose and faced him with a gray, level glance just as his arms folded about her.

“My dearest,” he whispered huskily. “He did it, God damn him!”

Related Characters: Anthony Patch (speaker), Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:

“The Winter of Discontent”

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

Then he found something that made him stop suddenly and sit down on one of the twin beds, the corners of his mouth drooping as though he were about to weep. There in a corner of her drawer, tied with a frail blue ribbon, were all the letters and telegrams he had written her during the year past. He was suffused with happy and sentimental shame.

“I'm not fit to touch her,” he cried aloud to the four walls. “I'm not fit to touch her little hand.”

Nevertheless, he went out to look for her.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch (speaker), Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

Gloria told over to herself the people who had visited them in the gray house at Marietta. It had seemed at the time that they were always having company – she had indulged in an unspoken conviction that each guest was ever afterward slightly indebted to her. They owed her a sort of moral ten dollars apiece, and should she ever be in need she might, so to speak, borrow from them this visionary currency. But they were gone, scattered like chaff, mysteriously and subtly vanished in essence or in fact.

Related Characters: Anthony Patch, Gloria Gilbert
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

This was her twenty-ninth birthday, and the world was melting away before her eyes…

“Oh, my pretty face,” she whispered, passionately grieving. “Oh, my pretty face! Oh, I don’t want to live without my pretty face! Oh, what’s happened?”

Then she slid toward the mirror and, as in the test, sprawled face downward upon the floor – and lay there sobbing. It was the first awkward movement she had ever made.

Related Characters: Gloria Gilbert (speaker), Anthony Patch, Joseph Bloeckman
Page Number: 349
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gloria Gilbert Character Timeline in The Beautiful and Damned

The timeline below shows where the character Gloria Gilbert appears in The Beautiful and Damned. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
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Dick tells Anthony that he has a famous cousin named Gloria Gilbert who they could go see. She is from Kansas City but lives at the... (full context)
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Dick goes on to say that Gloria is nice but has no brains. When Anthony teases Dick for the kind of intelligence... (full context)
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Anthony and Dick go upstairs to the Gilberts’ apartment. Gloria is out dancing, but they meet first Mrs. Gilbert then Mr. Gilbert, who has loose... (full context)
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Anthony and Dick discuss the weather and Gloria with the Gilberts. The narrator describes the young men laughing in “three-four time,” and the... (full context)
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...she turned out to be Dick’s cousin, Anthony realizes that the girl is the very Gloria Gilbert he missed at the Plaza. (full context)
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Maury and Anthony go on about how wonderful it is that Gloria is beautiful and not smart. Anthony tells Maury that he seems especially taken with her.... (full context)
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...When he finally gets up, he dresses slowly and adds an evening with Dick and Gloria to a very short to-do list. He marvels at how much more structured his day... (full context)
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...apply himself to any pursuit except drinking cocktails, Dick buzzes into the apartment and announces Gloria. Upon answering the door, Anthony immediately notices her gloved hands and Alice-blue dress with a... (full context)
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Gloria immediately begins talking at length, even though she alone listens intently to her words. Anthony... (full context)
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...into the conversation about names, but the conversation keeps falling back into a dialogue between Gloria and Anthony. They speak disparagingly of Adam Patch’s reformist tendencies, but what makes Gloria sit... (full context)
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When Gloria asks what Anthony has heard about her, Anthony mentions that Maury told him of her... (full context)
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Later in the week, Anthony and Gloria have tea on their own. Anthony contemplates Gloria in the gray suit she has explicitly... (full context)
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Gloria carefully scopes out the restaurant, picking the perfect place to sit, and along the way... (full context)
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Anthony tells Gloria that he thought she was only 18, and she tells him that is the age... (full context)
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...a cocktail, Anthony proudly announces that he does nothing because he has no useful skills. Gloria does not react as strongly as he had hoped, instead making a distracted statement that... (full context)
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Anthony begins taking Gloria out on dates over the next several weeks. It is difficult to schedule with her... (full context)
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There aren’t many option, so Gloria settles for the cabaret. Anthony notices that all the women there seem detached, as though... (full context)
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...the play begins, the gaudiness makes Anthony supremely anxious about the falseness of life. Meanwhile, Gloria insists that she has “a streak of cheapness” and belongs here in the theatre. Anthony... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...him, despite never having heard his name. Uncomfortable discussing himself, Dick changes the subject to Gloria and his opinion that Anthony is smitten with her. He thinks she ought to marry... (full context)
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Mrs. Gilbert reflects that Gloria used to surround herself with undergraduate men until one day she suddenly announced she had... (full context)
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Dick notices Gloria’s two friends with what he thinks of as the novelist’s eye. Muriel Kane hovers between... (full context)
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The party to which Gloria invited Dick and her friends takes place at the Biltmore. Before Gloria, Muriel, or Rachael... (full context)
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As soon as Gloria and Rachael reemerge, everyone begins dancing except for Bloeckman, who sits at a table and... (full context)
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When the song is over, everyone returns to the table. Gloria complains that “Blockhead” never dances. She frequently puns on Bloeckman’s name like this. Muriel comments... (full context)
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...and listening to the orchestra. All but Richard and Rachael drink champagne, and all but Gloria and Bloeckman dance. Anthony watches Gloria as she listens to Bloeckman and watches the dancers.... (full context)
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At ten, Gloria dances with Anthony out of earshot of the others and tells him she wants to... (full context)
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Back in the supper room, Muriel asks Gloria where she has been. Gloria tells her she went to call her mother. Bloeckman, meanwhile,... (full context)
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In the morning, Anthony sits in his apartment and reflects on his kiss with Gloria. She strikes him as different from other women in that she has not “submitted to... (full context)
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The narrator interjects that it does not occur to Anthony that it isn’t Gloria influencing him but rather some omnipotent photographer taking snapshots of Gloria who is using Anthony... (full context)
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Tuesday is freezing cold. Anthony meets Gloria at the Plaza and wonders whether he dreamed their kiss. He asks if they can... (full context)
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Back at the Plaza, Gloria insists that Anthony come upstairs. He at first despises himself for letting her take control... (full context)
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Anthony tells Gloria of his difficulty in finding a suitable career, and Gloria expresses disinterest in what he... (full context)
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...overtaken with panic at the realization that he is “not so much in love with Gloria as mad for her.” He wants her all the more for her rejection of him.... (full context)
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...has calmed down and decides to devise a plan to deal with his love for Gloria and her rejection of him. Memory is short, he decides, so if he waits six... (full context)
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...driven to the brink of madness again by two incidents: one in which he sees Gloria walking with a strange man, and one in which he runs into Joseph Bloeckman waiting... (full context)
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The first thing Anthony says to Gloria when he finally sees her is that she bobbed her hair. The narrator interjects to... (full context)
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On Sunday, Anthony and Gloria spend the day on his lounge. He tells her that he loves her, and she... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Two weeks later, Anthony and Gloria begin discussing marriage. Anthony insists that Gloria does not love him as much as he... (full context)
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One day, Anthony asks Gloria why she likes Muriel. She says she doesn’t much but socializes with her out of... (full context)
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On a later, sunny afternoon, Gloria and Anthony ride around on top of a bus. Anthony complains that the city is... (full context)
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...he is getting married. He is insulted when Adam Patch expresses skepticism about his and Gloria’s ability to get by on their current income given Anthony’s foolish spending habits. As Anthony... (full context)
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...he receives from it. He remains an usher in the wedding party, but Anthony and Gloria decide he is a bore. They are also unsatisfied with many of the gifts they... (full context)
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Alone in her room, Gloria pores over her diary, reminiscing about the list of men who are now in her... (full context)
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...his youth was hollow and that he did not realize that his soul’s union with Gloria’s awaited him. He begins listening to the city and hears a woman’s laughter mixed with... (full context)
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Anthony wakes up early and envies that unlike Gloria, he cannot cover up his tired face with makeup. Looking at Gloria’s wedding ring and... (full context)
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...Anthony has trouble being excited and focuses more on the clergyman’s gold teeth than on Gloria. He finally gets excited at the end of the wedding, when the weight of marriage... (full context)
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...the course of the honeymoon and during the first few months of marriage, Anthony and Gloria find themselves less enamored of each other the more they get to know one another.... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Anthony finds that Gloria has a temper. For example, she throws a tantrum at a restaurant over the fact... (full context)
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On their way home from the honeymoon, Anthony and Gloria stop in Washington and visit General Lee’s old home in Arlington. The place has been... (full context)
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Anthony finds that discussions with Gloria are difficult because they have been educated differently based on their gender, and Gloria is... (full context)
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At twenty-three and twenty-six, Gloria and Anthony are beginning to be like the organ grinder who, at thirty, becomes “a... (full context)
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Immediately after having the car towed, Anthony and Gloria see a realtor’s sign at the garage. They rent a little gray house in Marietta.... (full context)
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Despite their many moments of disagreement, Anthony and Gloria also share serene moments. One night, they lie awake speaking of the men Gloria has... (full context)
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One day, Anthony and Gloria begin joking about their disparate parts that could combine to make up their hypothetical baby... (full context)
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Social life in Marietta is disappointing. Gloria vents to Anthony about how simultaneously boring and anxiety-inducing it is to visit other young... (full context)
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In November, Anthony and Gloria move back to Anthony’s apartment in the city, where their social life is much more... (full context)
Chapter 5
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After another spring traveling around California and socializing with other bourgeois couples, Gloria and Anthony realize they have spent too much money and decide to go into “retirement”... (full context)
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Anthony and Gloria hire a new servant named Tanalahaka, a Japanese man who lives with them in the... (full context)
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One day in June, Anthony and Gloria spend the afternoon at the beach. Anthony is in the midst of a conversation over... (full context)
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Once Anthony has pointed out Gloria’s fierce independence, she adopts it as a moral code. On the front porch of a... (full context)
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...Anthony says he will have to consider. For one thing, it would entail separation from Gloria. On the train on the way home, Anthony runs into Joseph Bloeckman, who looks more... (full context)
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At home, Anthony finds Gloria eating a tomato sandwich and drinking lemonade in the hammock, talking to Tana. Anthony reflects... (full context)
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Joseph Bloeckman appears unannounced at the house one day. While he and Gloria discuss setting up a screen test for her to become an actress, Anthony wonders in... (full context)
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...at the kitchen table, making a typewriter out of odds and ends. Tana says that Gloria is out with Bloeckman. Furious, Anthony plans what he will say in his outburst upon... (full context)
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On the morning of February 22, Anthony and Gloria must have Bounds remind them what day it is when they awake. They are just... (full context)
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From this point onward, Gloria commits even more to her philosophy of doing only what she desires. Anthony tries to... (full context)
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The following summer finds Anthony and Gloria hosting an endless stream of guests at the country house. Gloria moves into Anthony’s room... (full context)
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One evening, Dick and Maury come to the house with a stranger named Joe Hull. Gloria does not trust him and tells Anthony that she wishes he would use Tana’s bathtub.... (full context)
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Gloria persuades the three men to at least stay outside by the train tracks if they... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...of Anthony’s Harvard classmates, shows up looking for Anthony. Tana tells him that Anthony and Gloria are out with friends they are hosting. Paramore, a subscriber to National Geographic, is interested... (full context)
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...alcohol, but by the end of the evening, even he is partaking of the revelry. Gloria complains to Anthony that he is paying too much attention to Rachael Barnes, née Jerryl.... (full context)
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For some time, Anthony and Gloria have been increasingly capable of indifference and even hatred toward one another. At 26, Gloria... (full context)
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Anthony and Gloria discuss what to do. They wish Adam Patch had died a week ago, before witnessing... (full context)
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In September, Anthony and Gloria leave the country house. Gloria scolds Anthony for packing his stamp collection. He says he... (full context)
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On the train back to the city, Anthony and Gloria continue to quarrel. Anthony asks Gloria not to be cross because they have only each... (full context)
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Anthony reveals to Gloria that their income is down to $600 a month after all their spending over the... (full context)
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...to let Anthony see Adam Patch. Irritated, Anthony returns to New York, where he and Gloria spend a tense week. One night, he tells her of a time he yielded to... (full context)
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Adam Patch dies in November. Anthony and Gloria attend the funeral nervously. After a week of not hearing anything about the will, Anthony... (full context)
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As the lawsuit gets underway, Anthony and Gloria continue their partying habits. They keep meaning to work come Monday, but it never happens.... (full context)
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...a black man from Martinique. Anthony reacts to the story of the elevator operator as Gloria reacted to his story about the kitten. (full context)
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In mid-January, Gloria’s father dies. She and Anthony travel to Kansas City for the funeral, but Gloria thinks... (full context)
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Bloeckman pays Gloria a few more visits. Anthony is outraged by the idea of Gloria becoming an actress... (full context)
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In July, they lose the lawsuit. Mr. Haight immediately files an appeal. As Anthony and Gloria plan what they will do once they finally win, Anthony is drafted. No doctor fails... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...Anthony embarks on an affair with her not because he finds her more captivating than Gloria but because she represents a rest from his daily routine at the training camp. After... (full context)
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By December, Anthony and Gloria’s briefly passionate correspondence has dropped off. She updates him on such affairs as the lawsuit,... (full context)
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...a privileged class in every way. During this period, he continues to receive letters from Gloria that express more and more regret for how things have turned out. In June, she... (full context)
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...and that he is leaving. She breaks down in tears, accusing him of returning to Gloria and telling him that she will die if he leaves. Her tone frightens him, and... (full context)
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Mid-September at Camp Boone, Mississippi, Anthony tries and fails to write a letter to Gloria. He worries about her silence and wonders if she, like him, has found a new... (full context)
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...midst of his letter writing, he eagerly takes a phone call that he hopes is Gloria but that turns out to be Dorothy. She tells him she must see him and... (full context)
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...physically weaker and eventually collapses. When he comes to, he finds a terse letter from Gloria asking him to come to New York for the trial in November, along with a... (full context)
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...a replacement sickens Anthony, and he tries immediately to get a furlough to go see Gloria in the city. He is disappointed to learn that no private is allowed to leave... (full context)
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...to get through the city and back to the apartment where Anthony hopes to find Gloria. She is out at the Armistice Ball when he arrives. He rifles through her things... (full context)
Chapter 8
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A year ago, when Anthony left for the officer training camp, Gloria walked through the crowd away from the train station a shell of her former self.... (full context)
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Rachael invites Gloria to dinner with two military captains. After dinner, they all retire to Rachael’s house, where... (full context)
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...February, an old flame comes to New York with the Aviation Corps and calls upon Gloria. She had once intended to marry him. She finds that she loves him not at... (full context)
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When the trial is postponed again to fall, Gloria decides to try becoming an actress without telling Anthony. As time passes, she realizes from... (full context)
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A week after Anthony and Gloria’s reunion at the Armistice Ball, Anthony’s regiment must return to Mississippi to be officially discharged.... (full context)
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By February, two months after Anthony’s return, he and Gloria are back to quarreling and spending more money than they have. They can no longer... (full context)
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Anthony reports back to Gloria about Heart Talks, laughing at the ridiculousness of the salesmanship scheme. She tells him he... (full context)
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...badge of honor to have it on offer. He becomes increasingly argumentative with not only Gloria but also with Maury. He often has hazy memories of these arguments. (full context)
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Anthony has not laid a hand on Gloria in anger since the incident on the train platform after the day at the beach.... (full context)
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In November one night, Gloria tosses and turns and asks Anthony for ice water. She reflects uneasily that she did... (full context)
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Gloria rants feverishly one day about how she would sacrifice the millions of people swarming around... (full context)
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In February, a week before her birthday, Gloria calls Joseph Bloeckman to schedule a screen test. She finds that he has changed his... (full context)
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Gloria is anxious over the next few days while she waits to hear back about the... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Anthony and Gloria have moved once more to an apartment with lower rent. Muriel Kane visits one day.... (full context)
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...avoiding Anthony since one of Anthony’s recent drunken outbursts. Anthony begins to tear up, and Gloria says it is his fault that his best friend no longer speaks to him. Muriel... (full context)
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Muriel is shocked at Anthony’s behavior. She is more shocked to hear Gloria say that Anthony is drunk – he did not show it at all. He never... (full context)
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Muriel and Gloria sit together, Gloria thinking but not saying aloud that she wishes Anthony would take her... (full context)
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...well as Dick and Maury. He is drunk every day. Although he finds himself taunting Gloria about her increasingly frantic use of beauty products when he is drunk, he is nice... (full context)
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...time in months. Dick tells Anthony that he has been hearing stories about his and Gloria’s exploits and that they should calm down. Anthony tells him that they are simply in... (full context)
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As winter approaches, Anthony seems to be seized by “madness.” He and Gloria are both aware that his drinking is a problem, but it is only tolerable to... (full context)
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Gloria comes home from an errand to buy beauty products one day to find Anthony pacing,... (full context)
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Anthony and Gloria begin listing to each other people they might ask for a loan. There seems to... (full context)
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Anthony finds Bloeckman at a dancing club. He attempts to confront Bloeckman about Gloria’s film rejection. Surmising that Anthony is drunk, Bloeckman asks him to leave. When Anthony insults... (full context)
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...a nervous mess the day the verdict is to be read. He plans to meet Gloria, who is spending the day with Dick, at the courthouse. After Gloria leaves the apartment... (full context)
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Gloria and Dick come in later to find a smashed chair, the smell of perfume, and... (full context)
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...he is “mad” following the lawsuit and Shuttleworth’s subsequent suicide. The second onlooker asks after Gloria. The first says that she was recently on deck but is now nowhere to be... (full context)