This chapter, perhaps more than anything, makes clear Gogol’s similarities and differences with his father. Both men are solitary. They spend a great deal of time within themselves, immersed in work or study. But whereas Ashoke seems committed to the path he has chosen in life, and content with that life, Gogol is an unsatisfied dreamer. He yearns for something beyond what he has, but he doesn’t know where that yearning leads. He knows that he loves his wife, and he respects his wife’s desires for intellectual freedom. Gogol is also satisfied by the creative outlet his work provides. But he cannot find the same comfort that his father appears to enjoy. For Gogol, his marriage to Moushumi is an almost, but not quite, perfect fit. And what is missing, of course, becomes apparent soon after this chapter, when Moushumi’s affair with Dimitri is revealed. On rereading the novel, this chapter becomes especially poignant. Gogol, after all, plans a trip to Italy that he and his wife will never take.