Bradley takes Julian to dinner at the restaurant in the Post Office Tower. Julian eats a lot, but Bradley eats very little, as he is nervous. Bradley thinks frequently about his desire to kiss Julian during the dinner, but does nothing. As they are saying good-bye, Julian asks Bradley to come with her to see the opera Der Rosenkavalier at Covent Garden because her new boyfriend bought two tickets but he cannot come. Bradley agrees and leaves feeling elated.

Analysis

Part Two opens with a several page soliloquy on the nature of love. The narrator remarks that Eros, desirous love, has touched Bradley and it overcomes him so much that he begins lying on the carpet, almost immobilized. Bradley decides that this love is a good thing, a pure gift full of truth that will be able to inspire him towards his artistic creation. His belief in the purity of the emotion also makes him decide to never taint its quality by mentioning it to Julian.

Bradley's strong feelings about love's connection to art again allow Murdoch to elaborate the connection between art and truth, as brought on by the experience of Eros, or erotic love. Murdoch's philosophy follows the ideas of Plato. Plato believed that the world of everyday life represented a world of superficial appearances, but that beyond this world existed an ideal one in which objects could be found in their true form. Murdoch believes that through love, as through religion, we have a rare chance to glimpse the true, eternal world that Plato describes. Furthermore, the contact with Eros will later give inspiration to create art, as it does for Bradley.

Bradley's sudden love makes him appear changed to all of the other characters, but in many ways, this change is superficial. Because Bradley suddenly starts buying people presents, lending money, and speaking kindly, everyone assumes that he is changed. However, while his actions indicate a new man, his thoughts reveal him to still be the self-interested soul that he long has been. Bradley's responses to Christian's and Rachel's desires for his love are particularly cold. As the older women are pouring out their hearts, he basically ignores them and thinks only of Julian, a woman with a much younger body. His mistreatment of Priscilla, as he bluntly informs her of Roger's affair, demonstrates his lack of consideration. Bradley's sudden kindness towards Roger, furthermore, might reflect his changing emotions towards sexual relationship between couples of unequal ages. While the idea previously angered him, now he is an interested party in the promotion of the concept.

By the close of the section, it becomes apparent that Bradley is going to have quite a difficult time keeping his love for Julian a secret. Even though he resolved to do so, he is quickly finding that he wants to be with Julian. Instead of just speaking with her on the phone, he has to invite her to dinner. At dinner, Bradley acts as a complete voyeur, since he cannot eat. As he watches her, he focuses upon her firm body and eating habits. He also repeatedly contemplates kissing her, an urge that would break his vow to never mention his love. After only just one day, Bradley's desire for "pure love" has already turned slowly towards lustful thoughts. As a result, it seems highly unlikely that he will be able to keep his emotion a secret for very much longer.