61 pages 2 hours read

Thomas Wolfe

Look Homeward, Angel

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1929

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Part 1, Chapters 6-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary

Eliza suffers under the guilt of her decision to move to St. Louis. Over the winter, the family slowly recovers and returns to the daily routine of their lives. Eugene, hungry for knowledge, devours picture books. As Eugene grows and reaches the age of five, he observes the strained relationship between his parents firsthand and how “they were so used to the curse, the clamor, and the roughness, that any variation into tenderness came as a cruel affectation” (54).

Eliza and Gant reignite their battle over Eliza’s ambitious desire to own property. Gant’s dislike the idea of owning property because he prefers “ready and unencumbered affluence—the possession of huge sums of money in the bank and in his pocket, the freedom to travel grandly, to go before the world spaciously” (55). Helen, now around 15 or 16, has grown even closer to her father and calms him during his drunken outbursts. This closeness causes tension between Helen and Eliza.

Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary

At the age of 56, Gant takes “his last great voyage” to California, feeding “the final flare of the old hunger that had once darkened in the small gray eyes, leading a boy into new lands and toward the soft stone smile of an angel” (57-58).