"The sight of her seemed an irresistible attack on his own habits, standards, and ambitions: something designed to put him in his place for good."

Dixon thinks this quotation to himself when he first sees Christine Callaghan at the Welches' home in Chapter 4. The quotation is the first indication of Dixon's tormented feelings about Christine, who he is tempted by but who is unavailable to him. Christine is unavailable not only because she is currently dating Bertrand, but also because she is in a different class than Dixon or the kind of women he dates. Many parts of the Welches' artsy party seem designed to put Dixon in his place, but, significantly, it is only Christine who arouses this kind of class anxiety in him.