42 pages 1 hour read

William Styron

Sophie's Choice

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1979

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Chapters 7-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary

While Nathan is at work, Stingo and Sophie frequently share picnic lunches in the park. There, Sophie continues to reveal bits and pieces of her backstory to Stingo. She says that shortly after her first encounter with Nathan, he arranged for her to see a specialist who diagnosed an iron deficiency. After supplementation, it only took a matter of weeks for Sophie’s health to improve. Stingo asks if her feelings for Nathan were love at first sight. Sophie says it was more like gratitude for the money he spent on her behalf because Nathan covered all her medical expenses. For his part, Stingo has trouble squaring Nathan’s initial kindness with his later abuse. He asks himself, “How could this saintly and compassionate fellow have become the living terror I had beheld on Yetta’s doorstep only a short time ago?” (172).

Stingo is distracted during their lunch because this is the evening when he’s supposed to have his sexual encounter with Leslie. Wild with anticipation, Stingo takes a train that evening to the Lapidus home in Brooklyn Heights. Contrary to his imaginary stereotype of a Jewish family, Stingo is greeted by Leslie’s wealthy, upper-class parents.

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