Study Guide

A Hologram for the King Chapter 22

By Dave Eggers

Chapter 22

  • Hanne invites Alan to her house for dinner.
  • She explains that she loves living in Saudi Arabia because of the isolation—there are no responsibilities at all to other people.
  • Hanne tells Alan that Abdullah will be in Bahrain for a week, which means more waiting for his crew. Alan's devastated. He really wants to leave Saudi Arabia.
  • Hanne and Alan exchange facts about themselves at dinner—and then Hanne proposes that they take a bath. Together.
  • It's about as awkward as you imagine it would be. Alan wonders what the heck he's doing there in the first place.
  • Hanne has her own ideas. She has needs. Alan politely tries to tell her that he's just not into her, without hurting her feelings.
  • But hey, he's naked. His disinterest isn't hard to see.
  • He tries to tell her that he likes how uncomplicated his life is without sexual entanglements, but Hanne's pretty horrified. She doesn't get it.
  • And she also doesn't understand his motivation for showing up for dinner.
  • Alan tries to figure out why he feels no desire. He's actually feeling dead inside.
  • He really wants to leap from the tub and run back to the hotel—but Hanne's not having any of it. She really does have needs. Did we mention that?
  • Alan feels that Hanne's request to "touch her" is an easy way out. So he does. But no matter how aroused Hanne gets, Alan can't manage more than a "twinge."
  • And while Hanne feels quite sexually satisfied, Alan just feels like a robot.
  • Alan doesn't get anything out of Hanne's arousal, and that hurts her pride. She wasn't able to move him.

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