The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Tom takes a train through France and into Italy. He spends the night at a fine hotel in Naples and treats himself to a luxurious dinner, grateful that Herbert Greenleaf is footing his bills.
Immediately after setting foot in Europe, Tom begins living the life of luxury he’s always felt he deserved—even if he’s done nothing yet to earn it.
Themes
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
The following morning, Tom takes a bus to Mongibello. He asks some locals to point him in the direction of Dickie’s house, and they indicate that Dickie is at the beach. Tom purchases a bathing suit and heads to the water, where he spots Dickie and Marge. Tom introduces himself, but Dickie does not remember him from America.
Tom’s first meeting with Dickie reveals the fact that Dickie looms much larger in Tom’s mind than Tom does in his—from the start they are on uneven footing, with Tom feeling a need to make an impression upon Dickie.
Themes
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
After a swim, Dickie invites Tom up to his house for lunch—Marge joins them. Tom and Dickie discuss Dickie’s parents, and Marge points out her house and Dickie’s boat. Tom studies Dickie’s rings while the three of them eat spaghetti. Dickie is in a “foul mood,” upset by his father’s having sent an emissary to check up on him, and, right after the meal is finished, he recommends a nearby hotel. Tom excuses himself, and “neither Marge nor Dickie urges him to stay.” Dickie shows Tom out, and closes the iron gate to his home.
Tom feels included for a brief time during lunch with Dickie and Marge, but he soon picks up on Dickie’s moodiness and how it is directly related to Tom’s own arrival. The clang of the iron gate as it shuts Tom out represents a seemingly impenetrable barrier between his life and the life that Dickie has fled to Europe to live out in peace.
Themes
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon