As the end of his time at Princeton approaches, America enters World War Two, and Blaine enlists to fight. Things again seem to take a turn for the worst for Amory; while he is away, his mother dies. He returns soon after and falls madly in love with Rosalind Connage, the sister of an old college friend. However, this time period was very much so based on social standing in the community, and poor investments had left Amory broke. To add insult to injury, it was for this reason that Rosalind broke off their engagement - how could she ever marry a poor man?
After the engagement is broken off, Armory realizes that he needs to find out who he is. As a child he was defined by the wealth and social standing of his mother. As a young adult, he was defined as a student, a war hero, and a lover. But now as he comes of age and see the difficulties that life presents, he finds that self discovery is necessary for survival and success.
1. This book takes place in the 20's, a time period where status was everything. It determined the clothes you wore, the people you associated yourself with, the restaurants you ate at, etc. How is the idea of social standings is different today than it was back then?
2. If you were alive in this time period and were in the shoes if Rosalind, would you choose love or money? Explain why.
3. By the end of the novel, Amory discovers that knowing who you are is the most important key to being successful. Do you agree? Why or why not?