Son arrives in New York in advance of Jadine and feels bewildered by the fast pace of city life. The city is crowded and dehumanizing. He feels alienated from the black people he encounters and is eager for Jadine to arrive, although he begins to worry she will not come. In his mind he reviews the days after Christmas, and he feels nervous about whether he managed to make Jadine fall in love with him during that time. He is still conflicted about her, thinking spitefully of the first time he met her and her dismissive, white attitude, but also of the fragile nature underneath that needs to be protected.

While Son worries, Jadine arrives and takes a taxi from the airport into New York. She is delighted to be back in the city and feels like she is reentering a lover’s arms. She is determined to make New York belong to her, and she imagines how great it will be to explore it with Son.

Son wants to go to Eloe, though. Jadine and Son move into Dawn’s vacant apartment in New York and spend all their time together. Jadine is glad Son is so handsome, and she loves introducing him to her friends. Son and Jadine have a variety of exploits in the city, where they eat junk food, drink lots of alcohol, read tabloid stories, and play board games and cards. Son tells Jadine more about his marriage to Cheyenne and how he killed her accidentally. Jadine tells him more about her life as a model and how she left the United States for Europe because she felt the States offered her limited life choices. Jadine feels a little guilty about leaving Ondine and Sydney without saying goodbye but does not feel guilty about leaving the Streets.

Son does a series of odd jobs, and Jadine thinks about starting to model again or about working for an art history professor she had when she was a student. But neither Son nor Jadine really seems to care about money, and they do not have any savings. As they spend more and more time together, Jadine starts to feel like less of an orphan, and she and Son feel like they are the only two left in love in New York City. They stop leaving the apartment or seeing other people and only spend time with each other. Spring begins to arrive. Finally they leave for Eloe.


Despite Son’s positive reaction to New York, he prefers a less civilized environment. When he turns on the tap in the hotel bathtub, he smiles because he is pleased to see how water has been transformed by civilization. Yet his smile masks the fundamental conflict between nature and conflict, which is that nature needs to be protected by humans. Whereas New York is a land of endless opportunity and excitement to Jadine, the city will never satisfy Son, a spirit as wild and resistant to domesticity. The fruits of civilization are not fruits to him at all. He does not want to be taught to fit into the system of civilization that he despises. Jadine is the only reason Son moves to New York, and he would not consider moving there if he did not have a strong desire to be with her. He does not stop to think of how he fits in the more civilized environment because his thoughts are only with Jadine. Therefore, Jadine’s and Son’s infatuations with one another interfere with their different upbringings in the civilized and natural worlds. They are too distracted by each other to take notice of what is happening around them. Although Jadine and Son can retreat into a fantasy world of their own making for a time, ultimately the conflict between nature and civilization, which is the conflict between blackness and whiteness, will cause problems in their relationship.

Time moves much faster in New York City now that Jadine and Son are away from Isle de Chevaliers. The big city is very sophisticated compared to life on the island, and therefore much more happens at a faster pace and the days fly by before Jadine and Son realize it. In New York, they are surrounded by constant action. Part of the reason they are making themselves so busy may be because they want to avoid thinking and talking about what happened on the island. However, the difference of opinion they had on the island cannot easily be forgotten because their points of view embody who they are. While Son and Jadine attempt to ignore their differences, they cannot ignore them by escaping to New York. And although the fight between the Streets and Sydney and Ondine did not directly involve them, Jadine also feels bad for leaving Sydney and Ondine, as well as selfish for not staying behind to help them. Since times goes by more quickly in New York, Jadine stops feeling guilty about leaving Sydney and Ondine behind. With so much happening in New York, she only thinks about her new life with Son.