43 pages 1 hour read

E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2011

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Chapters 1-8

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

The novel opens with 21-year-old English Literature major Anastasia Steele on her way to interview Christian Grey in Seattle as a favor to her friend Kate Kavanaugh, who is too sick with the flu to do the interview for the school newspaper. Ana is self-conscious and insecure, and this increases when she meets the well-dressed, beautiful blonde women who work at Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc., of which Christian Grey is CEO. When she enters Christian’s office, she stumbles and falls on her hands and knees. Christian helps her up, and she sees that he’s extremely attractive and young.

He invites Ana to sit, and as she takes in the large, well-appointed office, she comments on a painted series of small, mundane objects, saying, “Raising the ordinary to the extraordinary” (6). She asks questions from Kate’s notes, starting with to what he owes his success. He answers, “Business is all about people, Miss Steele, and I’m very good at judging people” (8). When she tells him he sounds like a “control freak,” he says, “Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele” (8).

Ana finds him arrogant and controlling. Still using Kate’s notes, she asks if he’s gay, which he denies.