The final section of this chapter brings up the major climax of the book because it demonstrates Frank Alpine's failure to control his actions both professionally and sexually. Frank has struggled, but to no avail. His struggle ends in failure. Frank, the ever-conscientious thief, has kept careful track of the amount that he has stolen and wants to repay it. No sooner does he add money to the register though, than his actions once again defy his desires and he steals it back. Morris catches him. Frank's failure to control himself seems sad, especially after he just made a new commitment to be honest. But his behavior is not surprising. He has made multiple commitments to fix himself, but to no avail. Even as he is putting the money back into the register, his failure to truly understand the nature of his self and what he needs do to reform is obvious. When he considers the theft with Ward, for example, Frank portrays himself as almost as much as a victim as Morris. Frank reasons that he only was present because of Ward's lead, therefore it basically was not his fault. This reasoning shows how far Frank is from his desire of being truly good. The fact that Frank is caught is unfortunate and because Malamud has showed us the contrasting dynamics of his mind, we sympathize with him, but it only through falling down and being tossed out by his mentor that Frank will be able to reform.
Morris's character receives a full analysis in this chapter as well, this time from Julius Karp. In Karp's mind, Morris is a character who is always unlucky. Karp knows that Morris is a good man and wants to have Morris like him for that reason, but still Morris constantly is making bad decisions that bring on bad luck. The coldness of Karp's character is revealed as Karp explains that he has his own plan for Morris, Morris's daughter, and Morris's shop. Not surprisingly, these plans will allow for the expansion of Karp's business into Morris's, without Karp actually having to purchase the property. Just as Morris is generous and good, so is Karp self-serving. Karp's discussion of his son brings another father-son relationship into light. Karp's son is a foolish son who is lazy and cares nothing for the business. Karp, for example, knows that his son steals from him, but he does not think the thievery to be so serious. Karp himself admits that he stole as a clerk when he was young. While Karp might find his own and his son's thievery acceptable, Morris Bober never would, again suggesting the strong difference in his ethics from those of Morris Bober.
Karp's discussion of Morris as an unlucky character brings up Morris's possible designation as a schemiel which is an archetype common to Yiddish folklore. Ruth Wisse has traced the schemiel character back to its East European origins and characterizes the schemiel as a folkloristic, anti-intellectual figure who uses ironic humor in order the soften the brutality of a harsh world. The schemiel uses faith instead of reason in order to survive. With his unique perspective, the schemiel evades the harsh real world, while emerging as an ironic figure characterized by tragedy and comedy. Morris Bober appears to be a schemiel because he does exist in his own moral world and refuses to believe in blind reason. Even when Karp logically explains the reason for Morris's recent success, for example, Morris prefers to still locate Frank Alpine as a good luck charm delivered to him from the universe to reverse his woes. In part, it is Morris's allegiance to a mystical vision that makes Frank's betrayal so painful. Not only is Morris's opinion of Frank wrong, but it challenges Morris's moral vision. Morris's blend of ironic humor in a bleak world make him a schemiel character in the tradition of Yiddish folklore.
The final rape of Helen by Frank is vicious and a symbol of his complete lack of control. Helen has finally come to the determination that she can love Frank and make love to him, but Frank's lack of control leads to his physical molestation of her body. With Frank's action, Helen's disillusionment as to his character is blown apart. At the same time, Frank's disillusionment about the success of his personal transformation is shattered. Frank has reached the low point in this chapter having amply demonstrated to himself and Helen and Morris that he is not the person he pretended to be. This expose is harsh, but necessary. It is only from arriving at this low point in the novel, that Frank will truly be able to transform.