The Talented Mr. Ripley

Dickie’s father, and the owner of a shipbuilding company specializing in “small sailing boats.” Herbert pays Tom’s way as he travels to Italy, hoping that Tom will convince Dickie to return home to helm the family business and be near his dying mother. Through Herbert’s letters to Tom, readers watch as Herbert’s demeanor goes from hopeful to despondent, and eventually cold and disappointed. When “Dickie” disappears, Herbert travels to Europe in order to aid in the investigation. His love for his son and his desire to be reunited with him is, in many ways, a catalyst for the entirety of the novel’s events, and it’s Herbert’s kind, generous nature which makes him easy prey in Tom Ripley’s game.

Herbert Greenleaf Quotes in The Talented Mr. Ripley

The The Talented Mr. Ripley quotes below are all either spoken by Herbert Greenleaf or refer to Herbert Greenleaf. 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:
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Norton & Company edition of The Talented Mr. Ripley published in 2008.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Tom’s heart took a sudden leap. He put on an expression of reflection. It was a possibility. Something in him had smelled it out and leapt at it even before his brain. He wanted to leave New York. “I might,” he said carefully, with the same pondering expression, as if he were even now going over the thousands of little ties that could prevent him. Tom stared at the gold signet ring with the nearly worn-away crest on Mr. Greenleaf’s little finger. “I think I might.”

Related Characters: Tom Ripley (speaker), Richard “Dickie” Greenleaf, Herbert Greenleaf
Related Symbols: Dickie’s Rings
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elLorem ipsum dolor sit aLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Talented Mr. Ripley quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 9 Quotes

“And these—a lot of landscapes,” Dickie said with a deprecatory laugh, though obviously he wanted Tom to say something complimentary about them, because obviously he was proud of them. They were all wild and hasty and monotonously similar. “My surrealist effort,” Dickie said, bracing another canvas against his knee. Tom winced with almost a personal shame. It was Marge, undoubtedly, though with long snakelike hair, and worst of all two horizons in her eyes, with a miniature landscape of Mongibello’s houses and mountains in one eye, and the beach in the other full of little red people. “Yes, I like that,” Tom said. It gave Dickie something to do, just as it gave thousands of lousy amateur painters all over something to do. He was sorry that Dickie fell into this category as a painter, because he wanted Dickie to be much more.

Related Characters: Tom Ripley (speaker), Richard “Dickie” Greenleaf (speaker), Marjorie “Marge” Sherwood, Herbert Greenleaf, Emily Greenleaf
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 29 Quotes

In a way it was asking for trouble, Tom thought. But that was the mood he was in. The very chanciness of trying for all of Dickie’s money, the peril of it, was irresistible to him.

Related Characters: Tom Ripley, Richard “Dickie” Greenleaf, Herbert Greenleaf
Page Number: 259
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Talented Mr. Ripley LitChart as a printable PDF.
The talented mr ripley.pdf.medium

Herbert Greenleaf Character Timeline in The Talented Mr. Ripley

The timeline below shows where the character Herbert Greenleaf appears in The Talented Mr. Ripley. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Tom’s pursuer enters the bar and approaches him. He introduces himself as Herbert Greenleaf, and explains that he recognizes Tom as a friend of his son, Richard Greenleaf,... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Tom and Herbert move to a table, where Herbert asks whether Tom and Dickie are still in touch,... (full context)
Chapter 2
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
After drinks with Herbert, Tom returns home to his “dingy” brownstone apartment, where he shares a dirty, small room... (full context)
Chapter 3
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
...night, Tom arrives at the Greenleafs’ Park Avenue apartment for dinner. He’s received warmly by Herbert and his ill wife Emily. During the sumptuous dinner, Tom lies extensively to the Greenleafs... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
After the meal, Herbert and Emily show Tom a photo album full of pictures of Dickie—one picture, taken in... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...desire to leave the apartment, though he stays in order to continue ingratiating himself to Herbert. Eventually, though, Tom becomes overwhelmed, and he excuses himself. In the mirror in the building’s... (full context)
Chapter 4
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...to the Greenleaf shipyard, and his return to the Greenleafs’ apartment for another dinner—at which Herbert “had presented him with a wristwatch.” Tom tells Cleo proudly that Herbert has “adopted him... (full context)
Chapter 5
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...cabin, it has been neatened and cleaned. There is a fruit basket from Emily and Herbert waiting inside, and Tom begins to sob at the sight of it. (full context)
Chapter 7
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
...at a fine hotel in Naples and treats himself to a luxurious dinner, grateful that Herbert Greenleaf is footing his bills. (full context)
Chapter 9
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
...hotel and up to Tom’s room. Dickie collects his things, and Tom tells him that Herbert is “very concerned” about him. Dickie explains that he’s happy in Italy, and has no... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Sensing that Dickie has grown colder and is about to leave forever, Tom confesses that Herbert sent him over “especially” to ask him to come home. When Dickie realizes that his... (full context)
Chapter 10
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...keeping Dickie “amused.” Tom studies Italian with a local young man named Fausto, writes to Herbert with falsely encouraging news, and lazes about on the beach. Tom and Dickie make vague... (full context)
Chapter 11
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
...house, Tom stops and retrieves a letter from the post office—it is a letter from Herbert, writing to say that he has concluded that Tom’s mission has been unsuccessful, as Dickie... (full context)
Chapter 13
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...After returning to the hotel, Tom spends the night practicing Dickie’s signature—Dickie’s monthly check from Herbert is supposed to arrive in just over a week. (full context)
Chapter 14
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Tom writes a letter to Herbert and Emily Greenleaf as Dickie, telling them he is looking for an apartment in Rome... (full context)
Chapter 23
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Tom writes a letter to Herbert stating that he “feels Dickie may have killed himself.” He receives a letter from Marge—who... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Each day, Tom awaits a letter from Marge or Herbert—he feels prepared to see them both and to answer any questions they might ask him.... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
...April, Tom receives a call from Marge. She is at the railway station in Venice; Herbert is behind in Rome. When she arrives, she tells Tom of how she’s been helping... (full context)
Chapter 24
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Later that night, Tom calls Herbert from a friend’s house—Herbert believes that Dickie is dead, and, because he has “never thought... (full context)
Chapter 25
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Early the next morning, a telegram arrives for Tom—it is from Herbert, saying that he has changed his mind and will be arriving in Venice just before... (full context)
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Back at Tom’s house, Tom urges Marge to head upstairs so that he and Herbert can speak alone—he knows Herbert will want to “quiz” him. Herbert asks Tom if he... (full context)
Chapter 26
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...missing Dickie Greenleaf. Tom is preoccupied at the party, worried by the impending arrival of Herbert’s private investigator and unpleasantly reminded by the people at the party of “the people he... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
At dinner with Marge and Herbert, Tom tries to make up for his distant behavior at the party by being “pleasant... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
...himself. She asks Tom why he never mentioned it before, and she insists they tell Herbert—“this,” she says, “practically settles it.” Tom fantasizes about bludgeoning Marge with his shoe and inventing... (full context)
Chapter 27
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
In the morning, Tom overhears Marge beginning to tell Herbert about the rings over the phone. When she hangs up, she tells Tom that Herbert... (full context)
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Marge and Tom go over to Herbert’s hotel, where he and the American detective, McCarron, are waiting for them. Marge hands the... (full context)
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
...tells Tom that he plans to return to Rome today, and the two return to Herbert’s room, where McCarron tells Marge he’d like to speak with her alone as well. (full context)
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Herbert and Tom say their goodbyes, and Tom returns home, where he spends the afternoon waiting... (full context)
Chapter 28
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
After six days, Tom calls Herbert in Rome; there is nothing new to report, he says. Herbert tells Tom of his... (full context)
Chapter 29
Obsession, Identity, and Imitation Theme Icon
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Tom writes a letter to Herbert in which he describes finding Dickie’s “will,” which was “given” to him some time ago... (full context)
Chapter 30
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
Tom predicts that Herbert will get the will the day after tomorrow and that, by that time, the authorities... (full context)
Wealth, Luxury, and Excess Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality  Theme Icon
Escapes Theme Icon
...Athens and, once there, goes straight to the American Express. There is a letter from Herbert waiting, which says that he and Emily will “carry out Richard’s preferences and the spirit... (full context)