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Lucky Jim

Kingsley Amis

Chapters 10–11

Chapters 8–9

Chapters 12–13

Summary

Chapter 10

As Margaret and Dixon dance together at the Summer Ball the following weekend, Margaret explains to Dixon how furious Carol was when Bertrand told Carol that she would now be attending the Ball with Gore-Urquhart while Bertrand escorted Christine. Dixon decides not to tell Margaret about Carol and Bertrand's embrace on the night of Welch's party. Margaret and Dixon head into the makeshift bar with Bertrand and Christine for a drink. Gore-Urquhart and Carol already occupy a table in the corner. Gore-Urquhart has coaxed Maconochie, a fellow Scotsman, into bringing them all full pints of beer instead of the usual College half-pints. In an aside to Dixon, Margaret dramatically explains that she's "getting much too fond" of Dixon and asks him to hold her seat. Dixon listens to Bertrand brag to Gore-Urquhart. Margaret returns and asks Gore-Urquhart to dance. Bertrand asks Carol to dance, Dixon asks Christine to dance.

Chapter 11

Dixon leads Christine onto the dance floor. Once they begin dancing, Christine asks Dixon if Carol is sulking because Bertrand was initially going to take her to the dance. Dixon tells her he knows nothing about it. Christine responds to this with bitterness and Dixon again feels confusion about her true character. Dixon thanks Christine for her help covering up his phone hoax with the Welches'. Christine admits that she thought Dixon's Evening Post routine was "brilliantly funny," and they dance even closer.

Christine tells Dixon that Johns told Professor Welch that Dixon asked Atkinson to call him at the Welches' and pretend Dixon's parents had come to town. Dixon, furious, realizes that Johns had been eavesdropping while he planned with Atkinson. Christine and Dixon return to the bar to find Bertrand bragging to Gore-Urquhart. Carol reappears and asks Dixon to dance with her.

Analysis

Chapters 10 through 14 take place at the college's Summer Ball and could described as the first climax of the novel. Once again, all the characters are brought together and the final important character—Gore-Urquhart—is introduced. Gore-Urquhart, Christine's uncle, is rich, well-mannered, and successful, but he has the same endearing imperfections as Christine: his evening suit is not as nice as one would expect, and he has one eyebrow that extends across his forehead. Gore-Urquhart also does not succumb to Bertrand's bragging, and prefers to remain in the bar rather than dance, as does Dixon. Although Dixon and Gore-Urquhart barely speak, Gore-Urquhart remembers Dixon's name and becomes Dixon's benefactor when he acquires full pints of beer for the table. Like Christine, Gore-Urquhart seems more appealing to Dixon because he displays no anxieties over needing to prove his upper class standing.

Christine and Dixon dance together for almost all of Chapter 11, and this is an important moment as we finally see Dixon being frank with Christine. We also see, for the first time, someone genuinely explaining the inner workings of their mind to Dixon when Christine attempts to discuss and analyze her reaction to Dixon's mention of the Evening Post phonecall.

Dixon keeps the secret about having seen Bertrand and Carol Goldsmith embracing from both Margaret and Christine, even though it would help him with Christine by hurting Bertrand. This code of honor becomes even more apparent as it is set against Johns's tattling. Twice now, we have heard of Johns reporting incriminating information about Dixon to Ned Welch and Mrs. Welch The deliberateness of Johns's eavesdropping also contrasts with Dixon's inadvertent view of Bertrand and Carol through a window.

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