Study Guide

The Diamond as Big as the Ritz Section 11

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Section 11

  • At sunset that day, John, Kismine, and Jasmine stop to have the remainder of the food Jasmine had brought with her.
  • After supper, John asks Kismine to bring out the jewels that she took with her from the house. If she did well, he says, the three of them will be set to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
  • Kismine pulls out a handful of glittering stones.
  • Unfortunately, they are rhinestones.
  • Kismine emptied the wrong drawer into her pockets.
  • She finds this funny, however, as, being bored with diamonds, she thinks rhinestones are more interesting.
  • John plots for them to go live in Hades, then, where they will probably have to work for a living. Jasmine perks up – she loves washing clothes, so she can be a washwoman.
  • Kismine wants to know if they have washwoman in Hades. Then she wants to know if her father will be there.
  • John explains that her father is dead, and that she is confusing Hades with "with another place that was abolished long ago" (11.24).
  • When they get ready to go to sleep that night, Kismine muses that all that happened seems to her a dream, especially her wealthy youth.
  • It was a dream, says John – that's what youth is, "a form of chemical madness" (11.28). "At any rate," he concludes, "let us love for a while. […] That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. Well, I have that last and I will make the usual nothing of it" (11.30). He makes sure they are all warm, and then the three of them drift off to sleep.

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