Study Guide

Jazz Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

  • Okay, back to Nameless Narrator Town. Who is this person? What do they want? Why do they know everything?
  • This nameless narrator is a masochist and has a "sweet tooth" for pain.
  • No-name is also a sadist, who "breaks lives to prove (I) can mend them again."
  • This narrator both watched, and lied to, Violet and Joe. The narrator was sure that one would kill the other, but realized that (she? He? It?) was wrong.
  • Violet and Joe are more complicated and human than the narrator initially thought.
  • The narrator thinks that the Joe/Violet/Dorcas trio is in a way the mirror image (read: opposite) of the Joe/Violet/Felice trio.
  • Joe was totally running around looking for Wild's hiding place at the same time that he was looking for Dorcas, according to Mysterious Narrator.
  • Ah, we get a character round-up.
  • Alice moves to Springfield, Massachusetts. Maybe that's for the best.
  • Felice still loves buying records, and still walks slowly.
  • Joe works the night shift at a speakeasy. He returns home at around dawn, eats breakfast with Violet, and then they both nap. Domestic bliss seems to have been restored. They go out and drink milkshakes together.
  • They also go walking and talk to neighbors, or take the train downtown, or just stay around their apartment. It's second-honeymoon time in the Trace residence.
  • Oh, and Violet bought a new bird, so you know everything is okay now. The bird loves music.
  • Sometimes after dinner, Violet and Joe cuddle in bed and talk to one another. Gosh, this is sweet. They're thinking of buying a new blanket.
  • Flashback to 1906, when they had just moved to New York. Violet, exhausted by a day of work, falls asleep adorably with one shoe on. Joe comes back from two months away and is delighted to see her exactly as she is; he takes her shoe off, and she laughs in her sleep.
  • The weird anonymous narrator now talks about the beauty of summer nights, love, dancing, and music—the gist of this poetic aside is that life contains pain and pleasure in equal measure.
  • The narrator now talks about old married couples in general, and about Violet and Joe in particular. These couples like to lie in bed and snuggle under the covers and talk about memories and the way that things could have turned out in their lives—this snuggling-in-bed time is their super-cute private time.
  • The narrator envies both this cutesy-pie snuggle time and the public love these old married people share, especially their adorable acts of public grooming.
  • Poor anonymous narrator wants some love. But it sounds like the narrator has never known public love and only loved in secret. It's kind of sad.
  • The novel ends with the narrator saying to an imagined lover: "Look where your hands are. Now."

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