61 pages 2 hours read

Thomas Wolfe

Look Homeward, Angel

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1929

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Part 1, Chapters 2-5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary

Eliza and Oliver marry and move into a home that Oliver built himself and takes great pride in. In contrast, Eliza is eager to invest in new properties in pursuit of financial stability and prosperity. She convinces Oliver, whom everyone calls Gant, including his wife, to partner in business with her brother Will. This endeavor is not successful; Gant dissolves the partnership and returns to isolation.

Gant enters a pattern of work and drunkenness, which results in two- to three-night benders every couple of months, as observed by the whole of Altamont. Eliza suffers under Gant’s abuses, as “an obscure and final warfare was being waged between them” (17). Despite Gant’s protests, Eliza asserts some of her power as she fulfills her dream of pursuing real estate.

In the first 11 years of Eliza and Gant’s marriage, they have nine children. The six children who survive into childhood and are Steve, Daisy, Helen, Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison, who are twins, and Luke. Gant continually falls into bouts of drunkenness and is sent away numerous times for recovery.

Part 1, Chapter 3 Summary

It is 1900, the turn of the century. Gant has turned 50 years old and Eliza, who is now 42, is pregnant with her last child.