42 pages 1 hour read

William Styron

Sophie's Choice

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1979

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Chapters 15-16Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 15 Summary

In the wake of Nathan’s threat, Sophie and Stingo hurriedly pack and board a train for Washington, D.C., where they will get connecting transportation to Stingo’s father’s farm in Virginia. As they travel, Sophie talks about her future. She says that once the two of them are settled, she wants to write about Auschwitz and tell the truth about what a horrible person she is. Sophie blames herself for all the things she did wrong and calls herself a “filthy collaboratrice” (497) because all her actions were attempts to save herself. Stingo tries to reason with her by saying, “You told me yourself that you just couldn’t judge what you did or what anyone else did in terms of accepted conduct. […] You’re just eating your guts out about things that weren’t your fault” (497).

When they arrive in Washington, they spend the night at a hotel. Stingo reaches Larry, who agrees to track down Nathan and deal with him. With Larry taking charge of the situation back in New York, both Sophie and Stingo relax enough to get some rest before the next leg of their journey. While at the hotel, Stingo proposes marriage to Sophie once they get to Virginia.

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