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To add to the "naturalism," it is important to mention that there is significance in the fact that Tommy's grandfather used to call him "Velvel." Velvel is Hebrew for wolf. This is significant for several reasons. First of all, it points to Tommy's lonely howling. The nickname also brings forth the animal motif that has been present throughout. Tommy is constantly referring to himself and others in animalistic terms. The name also revisits Reichian philosophy because it points to human kind's animalistic tendencies.

Still further, it is important to illustrate that although Bellow puts the character of Tamkin in question, he also shows Tamkin to be a truth-teller. There is a certain method to his madness—lucidity through the jargon. For example, Tamkin tells Tommy: "You can't march in a straight line to the victory…You fluctuate toward it. From Euclid to Newton there was straight lines. The modern age analyzes the wavers." This is important because it points to the fact that Tommy is, ironically, in his "watery" state, on the right track to clarity. Water fluctuates. Tamkin will point him in the write direction in the sense that Tamkin is explaining to Tommy that he must embrace the water that he is seemingly drowning in order to succeed in some kind of rebirth. This statement also points to the fact that Tamkin has a better understanding of the predicament of modern man than Dr. Adler does. Dr. Adler is very much an advocate of the "straight and narrow," the "straight line to victory," an outdated mode that does not exist any longer in modernity. Interestingly, there was also a philosophy or mode of psychology called Adlerism in which Adler claimed that people are power driven. Thus it is not coincidental that the character of Dr. Adler is named after such a philosophy, since he is the symbol of "success" in the book.

Also, to illustrate that Dr. Tamkin practices what he preaches, Bellow makes sure to point out the books that Tamkin keeps in his room. These books illustrate a juxtaposition that is illustrative of the fluctuating path to victory. For instance, he mentions books that exist in opposition or that discuss opposing philosophies. Freud, for example, is paired with W.H. Sheldon, a staunch anti-Freudian.

Throughout this chapter, Tamkin provides Tommy with lies and with truths, yet another paradox. These "truths" will eventually allow him to break free from his "drowning state." However, at the present he has not quite accomplished such a feat. For, the chapter ends with the image of drowning, once again. Tommy is brought back to the external world of money by thinking of his seemingly failing investments.