In the yellow notebook, Dr West writes the medical advice column at Women at Home magazine. Ella manages his overflow, responding to letters that are insufficiently “medical” for his taste. At the beginning of Anna’s manuscript of The Shadow of the Third, Ella goes to a party at Dr West’s house, which is a slightly improved version of the dreary, identical, working-class houses that surround it. He later informs Ella that Paul Tanner went to Nigeria in order to get away from his mistress, who was a “flighty piece” (and, of course, was Ella herself). Dr West later tries to start an affair with Ella (she refuses) and ends up with Patricia Brent instead. A prototypical career-minded and emotionally tone-deaf man, Dr West is interested entirely in his own pleasure and does not care about how he affects the women in his life.
Dr West Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook
The timeline below shows where the character Dr West appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Notebooks: 1
...her letters and “these people you can’t do anything for,” a phrase she regrets using. Dr West jokes that Ella wants a revolution—the only way to “do anything,” of course. He votes... (full context)
...return from Nigeria, and awakens in tears, realizing that “she was the flighty piece,” and Dr West mentioned the phrase to her on purpose. She grows furious rather than depressed. She gets... (full context)
The Notebooks: 3
...attention”—she sees the difference between living alone as a woman and living with another woman. Dr West tries and fails to start an affair with her; instead, he ends up with Patricia... (full context)