Study Guide

Mr. Tristram in The American

By Henry James

Mr. Tristram

An Old Pal Returned

Tom Tristram isn't exactly the first guy Newman would choose to run into. He's an inoffensive type, an old war buddy with a penchant for fine French wine. His best quality is that he's found himself a wonderful wife who doesn't mind traipsing all over the continent.

Newman makes the observation that his war pal has turned into "a very light weight" (3.7). In other words, Tom Tristram doesn't care much for pondering life's existence. He likes bonbons and poker, but that's about all.

Travel, candy, wine and poker? Life with the Tristrams sounds fantastic.

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