Mind, I am not preaching anything contrary to accepted morality. I am not advocating free love in this or any other case. Society must go on, I suppose, and society can only exist if the normal, if the virtuous, and the slightly deceitful flourish, and if the passionate, the headstrong, and the too truthful are condemned to suicide and madness.

These lines are written by Dowell in Part VI, Section VI of the novel. Dowell attempts to overlay order onto the tragedy and moral confusion of the story. He believes that society is made for normal people, and that those who attempt to break its rules are destroyed by it. Society is not fit for the passionate or the sentimental. This state of affairs saddens Dowell, and implies perhaps, that he wish society should not have to go on as it seems to do. Dowell places a higher value on Edward's type of person, who is carried away by passion. Ironically, he is not that type of person at all. Dowell, as much as he can in his chaotic situation, acts a normal part in a normal life. In the end, he survives madness and death, but he is left with moral confusion.