Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 2, Chapter 7

By Wallace Stegner

Part 2, Chapter 7

  • Oliver and Susan are strolling around the camp. They chat about their life, and Susan mentions that she wouldn't mind living here for an extended period of time.
  • Oliver gives Susan a strange reply that makes her think he's planning on taking a job somewhere else. Oliver denies it, however.
  • Susan and Oliver arrive at Oliver's office, and he begins puffing on his tobacco pipe. That's when Susan notices a new sign on the wall: "No smoking in this office. By order of the manager" (2.7.22).
  • Oliver explains that Kendall put this up specifically to get under his skin. Kendall has long been skeptical of Oliver, and Susan's "prisoners" comment seems like it was the last straw.
  • Apparently, Kendall even fired Tregoning just because Oliver liked him. To make it even worse, Kendall banned mine employees from buying Tregoning's property, which left the dude absolutely penniless.
  • As Susan ruminates over this, a man named Hernandez arrives to chat with Oliver. After Hernandez leaves, Susan tells Oliver that he shouldn't "compromise [his] principles" (2.7.105).
  • Oliver returns home at the end of the day and tells Susan that he quit. Susan had expected this, but she wasn't quite ready to face the reality of the situation.
  • So, Susan and Oliver will stay around for a few weeks while Oliver finishes up some things, and then they'll head off to who knows where.
  • Susan suggests using her money to keep them afloat until Oliver finds work, but Oliver isn't having it. The two finally agree that she can spend her money on the baby, but nothing else.