Study Guide

The Interestings Chapter 11

By Meg Wolitzer

Chapter 11

  • A couple years later, Dennis walks down to the corner store to pick up Media Now's list of the most powerful people in media.
  • He takes it back to the apartment he and Jules share, and Dennis yells up to her that Ethan made number ninety-eight on the list of one hundred.
  • Earlier this year, Jules and Dennis got married earlier in a modest wedding.
  • Lois regrets that Jules's dad wasn't able to be there, but Jules refuses to think about him on that day.
  • Ash stands up during the lunch/reception and gives a speech about how Dennis is a solid and Jules is a liquid and together they have chemistry.
  • Two months later, Ethan and Ash get married in a lavish ceremony.
  • We find out that Ash and Jules have continued to share the Goodman secret with each other, though Jules is mainly there to listen to Ash vent.
  • Ash and the Wolfs have evidently been visiting Goodman every so often in various places in Europe; Ash pretends he is at her wedding.
  • At Ash and Ethan's wedding, Jules gives a toast and, predictably, makes a joke. Ha ha.
  • Jules and Dennis adjust to married life, assuming that eventually the low incomes and high expenses will balance out into something normal.
  • Ash and Jules continue their strong friendship into adulthood and explore the joys of women's sex toys, each buying a vibrator called the Joystick.
  • And then life moves on and the vibrator getting tossed somewhere in the closet—Joystick, we hardly knew ye.
  • However, Jules and Ethan's friendship becomes much harder to talk about and much more unspoken.
  • The economic divide between the couples starts becoming more obvious, and Jules worries that Ethan is changing into someone that loves money.
  • Back to the present moment where Dennis has the magazine—Ethan is included on the list because of what is expected to happen with his show.
  • The magazine predicts Ethan's show will go into syndication and he'll make tons of money soon; Jules had no idea about any of this, though, because Ethan never talks directly about his success.
  • For the first time, we see Jules starting to get openly bitter about the differences.
  • Dennis tries to get her to talk about something else (and clearly doesn't see the real problem), but Jules is fixated on the walk-in fridge Ethan and Ash now have as a symbol of their wealth.
  • While giving Dennis a foot rub, Jules decides they should be embarrassed to let Ethan and Ash come over to their shabby apartment.
  • Jules argues that they wouldn't be selected as Ash and Ethan's friends if they met in adulthood since their other friends are also super rich; Jules says they should leave them alone.
  • She remembers a time when she and Dennis ran into Ash and Ethan while they were on their way to the bookstore to sell their used books, and feels deeply ashamed of it now because they know how poor Jules and Dennis are.
  • For his part, Dennis has had about enough of this.
  • Jules says that the only reason Ash and Ethan have made it this far is that they have money—talent is useful, sure, but you can make it without talent if you have money.
  • Dennis tries to start the dishes, but Jules begs him to leave and walk around somewhere, so he tries for comfort her; she refuses to believe that what they have is enough, though.
  • Dennis accuses his wife of actively trying to mess up their life together when he really likes it.
  • Jules denies it, but Dennis suggests that perhaps she's cheated on him because he doesn't make much money. He also tells her that she's creating an unhealthy environment in their marriage by suggesting she'd be better off if he were someone else.
  • As if on cue, Ash calls right at that moment and invites them out to dinner.
  • Unlike before, they now make no attempt to split the bill.
  • The next year, the couples take their first vacation together to Mount Kilimanjaro, with Jonah and Robert coming along.
  • Ethan hates traveling and having an assistant, but he asks his assistant to find the three couples a good trip.
  • Ash has to convince Ethan it's okay to spend his money.
  • Their next trip is to Paris, where Jules asks Ethan how he learned how to behave rich, a question which displeases Ethan; the divided between them grows bigger.
  • During a trip to Venice the following year, Jules wakes up and wonders what they're doing there.
  • Ash has continued to see Goodman throughout the years and will often have something new to tell Jules.
  • A year earlier, the Wolfs flew to see Goodman and discovered he'd been fired for showing up late too many times and was doing a bunch of cocaine.
  • Goodman got sent to an Icelandic rehab center for a month.
  • Gudrun and her husband are no longer sheltering Goodman because they had a baby; with the money the Wolfs sent, Gudrun became a successful textile designer.
  • Evidently, Jules actually told Dennis about Goodman in the early stages of their relationship. When she does, he is shocked by the arrogance of the Wolf family and asks Jules if she ever thought about turning him in.
  • Jules explains that she doesn't want to get involved like that, and tells Dennis he can't tell anyone.
  • Dennis is happy that she told him because it means something big for their relationship; he admits that he doesn't like Ash and her family as a unit, which Jules is okay with.
  • Back in Venice, Jules wakes up Dennis and they have sex in that expensive hotel room.
  • Afterward they eat breakfast and Jules wonders what Goodman looks like now—Dennis imagines he looks all leathery and gross.
  • As the vacation winds down, the couples exchange notes on how each place was.
  • Everyone heads home, and Jules and Dennis suddenly are forced back into their own low-income world.
  • Jules and Ash both start to settle into their careers and talk about having kids.
  • Everyone goes to see Ash's directorial debut—Ibsen's Ghosts—and it's unexpectedly good.
  • She even gets a review in the New York Times; clearly she's got talent independently of her man.
  • Ash's theater offers her a position as their resident feminist playwright and director.
  • During a celebration dinner for Ash, Ethan tells Robert about Ash's first attempt at writing a play.
  • Robert tells Dennis that they've clearly missed something with not being at Spirit-in-the-Woods.
  • Something very bad is about to happen… or at least we think so, because the story starts talking about Dennis's food restrictions while they're in a restaurant.
  • After multiple courses, Dennis tells Jules he's not feeling well and that he thinks he's going to die.
  • Dennis begins throwing up on his plate, and Jules yells for Ethan.
  • Ethan jumps into action and lays Dennis on the floor, calling 911.
  • Jules hovers over Dennis's body and begs the universe to leave the success and money to Ethan and Ash if it'll just give Dennis back to her.