He says he worked hard for ten years until he happened to get lucky on the stock market, and then he had so much money there did not seem any point in working any more.
Marion sees that Charlie is a changed man and understands his desire to have Honoria back. Marion gives in and says she will not stand in his way, although she is clearly upset and leaves the room.
Lincoln acknowledges that Charlie will be getting Honoria back. Charlie leaves the house, feeling exultant. But he also recalls with pain what happened with Helen. They had quarreled for hours on a February night at a restaurant; Helen then kissed another man. Charlie went home alone and locked the door. She arrived home an hour later, and was unable to get into their home. She wandered around in a snowstorm, unable to find a taxi to take her anywhere.
She almost caught pneumonia as a result. In the early morning while he is still half-asleep, Charlie finds himself talking to Helen. Helen says she wants Honoria to be with him. Charlie pursues a careful strategy in his dealings with Marion.
Whatever he does, though, Marion is not likely to let go of her view that he was to blame for the fact that his marriage to Helen went downhill. The needs of the present will triumph over the shadows of the past, and Charlie can again envision a happy future—or so it appears. Log in or register to post comments. We provide an educational supplement for better understanding of classic and contemporary literature.
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Even when he goes for a walk by himself, his past party spots are the destinations, and his thoughts drift to the past fun wild life style he enjoyed there. His past, though, is characterized into Lorraine and Duncan. This is a literal representation of how the past can come back to haunt ones present. Not only do his old drinking buddies come over unannounced, they are intoxicated at the time and insist Charlie comes joins them. To Marion this shows undoubtedly that Charlie has not changed at all.
Living in the moment can be good, but as a life motto, it can be very damaging. Charlie was quite a partier, and quite the wild boy during the roaring twenties that swept across America and Europe. This point in history the stock market was soaring and people were making small fortunes.
Charlie took this opportunity and ran with it. Not only did he party all over Paris, he went all over Europe with his wife.
He then lost all of his fortune in the crash of the stock markets in He then left his daughter behind after the death of his wife. Then after all of that, he hurt came back expecting to be given back the daughter he threw away a few years before by willing to limit himself with alcahol beverages every day instead of being an alcoholic. Learning the lesson about past affecting the present is something Charlie learns the hard way. He learns that his past is not easily escaped after all the hurt he left behind.
Honoria even begins to question him about why is it that she is not living with him. Marion, seeing his efforts, has finally changed her mind and has decided to let Honoria live with her father. On the other side is his old friends Duncan and Lorraine which he had asked the bartender Alix about. His friends are very obviously drunk and keep insisting that Charlie go to dinner with them, he turns down their offer two times until they finally go away not happy with him.
Marion observing this, after dinner, completely takes back her offer to let Charlie take his daughter back to Prague with him for she fears that he is not completely over his drunken days.
Charlie feels devastated and sees his efforts have gone down the drain. He then goes back to the same bar The Ritz, he thought he would run into Lorraine and Duncan there but instead he finds another bartender he knew very well from his partying days.
They have a short conversation, and then Charlie continues to reminisce about his old partying days and about all of the bad times in his marriage with Helen. He is consumed with thoughts about the s, where people were so careless, drunk and on drugs all the time. Lincoln informs him that he cannot because Marion is far too upset at what happened and that he is going to have to wait another six months to try to get his daughter back.
He feels trapped and excessively thinks about how much time will have to pass until Marion stops making him pay for his former lifestyle and mistakes. He keeps thinking and was certain that Helen would want him to be with his daughter and not alone. A major theme of the story is of time and the inevitability of past mistakes resurfacing. Charlie recognizes the mistakes he made in the past that caused him to lose his daughter in the first place, and his constant longing for a future with her results in his past coming back to haunt him.
During the modernist literary movement during which this story was written, a common theme was that of dislocation and alienation. After losing his wife, and then eventually his daughter, Charlie feels an overwhelming sense of loneliness.
Following the Great Depression and the stock market crash, he is confronted with the consequences of his foolish and incautious past, causing him to find the motivation to win custody of his daughter to ease the pain of his miserable solitude.
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