Lucky Jim

by: Kingsley Amis

Chapters 23–25

Summary Chapters 23–25

Analysis

The final three chapters of Lucky Jim play out somewhat like a fairy tale, and in these chapters it becomes clear that comic destiny will take over and comic justice will be served. Although the serendipity of the final events—Dixon learns of Margaret's deceit, Christine leaves Bertrand, Gore- Urquhart offers Dixon a job—seems entirely like a happy ending, the morality behind ending is difficult to pin down. Has Dixon truly changed at all through the course of the novel, or have his opportunities merely shifted? On the one hand, Dixon does finally become able to articulate his interior frustration with those around him. On the other hand, Dixon does not seem to have improved himself in any specific way, and Gore-Urquhart offers him the job note because of who he is but because of who he is not: "You haven't got the disqualifications." Additionally, the ethics that Dixon and Christine subscribe to at the end of the novel center hedonistically on acting on their desires, rather than taking other people into consideration.

This sort of self-centered ethos can be seen in Dixon's final explosive laugh at the Welches, which also points to his new alliance with Christine. Dixon's laugh, expressive of the contempt he has felt for the Welches throughout, reminds us that Dixon has not laughed all that frequently through the course of the novel. This final laugh recalls his "anarchistic" laugh in Chapter 9 after his Evening Sun phone call to Bertrand; both of the laughs seem to be a gesture of defiance to standards shaping Dixon's life. Dixon has usually laughed alone in the course of the novel, except for select scenes in which Christine laughed with him as well. Thus we have the final angle of comic justice at the end: Dixon is united with the one other character with a sense of humor against all those who don't.