During Christmas break, after Jack has begun school at Hill, Dwight finds Rosemary at her new home in Washington, D.C. and tries to strangle her in the lobby of their apartment building. Rosemary knees Dwight in the groin, and he steals her purse and runs away. Immediately afterward, Dwight is arrested, but Jack feels guilty for not attempting to save his mother from the attack. Jack actually heard noises coming from the lobby, but because it was a bad neighborhood, assumed someone else was in trouble. This is the last time Jack will ever see Dwight.
Not surprisingly, Jack is thrown out of Hill halfway through his senior year, as he is simply unable to make the grades necessary to compete with the other students. Afterward, Jack joins the army and serves in the ##Vietnam War#
As an adult, Jack remembers driving back to Chinook from Seattle, singing hymns and listening to the radio. He marvels at how free he felt to be starting a new life in a new place, where he would finally have the opportunity to recreate himself.
Robbing Dwight of his most prized possessions does not satisfy Jack the way he had hoped it would. Initially, Jack thinks that this act of vengeance will provide him with some sense of revenge, but afterward realizes that no revenge will compensate for Dwight's having robbed Jack of carefree, happy childhood.
Despite the disappointment he feels after having pawned the items he has stolen from Dwight, Jack remains hopeful for the future, especially now that he has finally been given the chance to leave Chinook and realize the image of himself that he has created in his mind and in his application to the Hill School. Wolff remembers feeling especially overjoyed the night he and Chuck drive back from Seattle, singing as if they have quite literally been "saved." In Jack's case, this salvation comes from Mr. Howard and the Hill School, while Chuck has been saved by Huff, who will marry Tina in Chuck's place. On this night, as he enjoys his newfound bliss and freedom, Jack feels he will "be allowed to stay green forever." The term "green" connotes youth, innocence, and inexperience, all of which fuel Jack's rosy view of what his future will hold.
In this state of "greenness," Jack feels like the glorious fate he has imagined for himself is around the corner, although he thinks without any pragmatism and gives no consideration to how he will actually realize this idealized image of himself. In his naivété, Jack does not presume that his future could possibly hold more tragedy. In fact, in the future Jack's father is committed to a sanitarium, Dwight tries to strangle Rosemary, and Jack is expelled from Hill. As he drives, however, Jack can only savor the future as the chance for a new life and a source of endless possibility.