| Quote #4
When Dick could no longer play what he wanted to play on the piano, it was an indication that life was being refined down to a point (3.12.20).
Dick has been transformed into a prisoner of his own life. He feels trapped by Nicole’s illness and by the Warren money. He just wants to dream about Rosemary and try to work again. This moment represents another deep transformation for Dick, one which spurs him to want to change again.
| Quote #5
[Nicole] had not existed for a long time, even as a ball (3.6.18).
What a weird statement. This is when Nicole’s in her garden, before she’s taken Tommy as a lover, and when she is content to have the two men fight over her in conversation. As cruel as the passage sounds, it does suggest that Nicole is "finding herself" and moving toward a recovery of some sort. But, it can’t really be from her perspective, can it? It seems like the judgment of the third person narrator. Watch for moments like this in the text. This isn’t the only one.
| Quote #6
Indeed, his success was founded psychologically upon his duel with Tommy Barban, upon the basis of which, as it withered in his memory, he had created, afresh, a new self-respect (2.19.6).
Albert McKisco undergoes one of the most startling and rapid transformations in the book. He goes from the guy nobody wants to talk to at the party to a popular author and a likeable man. Any ideas why he thinks the duel triggered his transformation?