Study Guide

Young Man/Suitor of Trissie in Kew Gardens

Young Man/Suitor of Trissie

This fellow appears in the company of the young woman, Trissie, and the emphasis in his characterization is primarily on his youth, making him a distinct contrast to the old man and married man. They recollect their youth, but he is the embodiment of youth in the present. He has all the features of the inexperienced: he converses somewhat awkwardly with Trissie and is clearly nervous and uncertain in her presence. Even her simplest comments seem tremendously meaningful to him:

He felt that something loomed up behind her words, and stood vast and solid behind them. (26)

His experience with her is also marked by a sense of unreality:

It was real, all real, he assured himself. (26)

We want to give him some dating advice—play it cool, dude—but hopefully he'll figure things out on his own. He eventually becomes impatient with merely surveying the scene and, though Trissie wants to linger, "he bore her on" (28). This meager phrase suggests the intensity and urgency of his desire—he really likes this girl. So in contrast to the married man who is preoccupied with his past romance, the young man is full of anxiety about a budding new one.