62 pages 2 hours read

Saul Bellow

The Adventures of Augie March

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1953

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Chapters 16-20Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 16 Summary

Thea takes Augie to a house that may belong to either her or her husband. People throng around them to see the eagle. They eat lunch, and Caligula hunts lizards while Augie is introduced to the man who manages the luxury hotel next door. When one of the lizards attacks Caligula, Thea accuses the bird of being a coward. Later, Augie speculates about their relationship as they lay in bed together. When they visit a bar, everyone seems to know Thea well. He must explain that Caligula is not his pet bird. They discuss the situation with writers and practice hunting from horseback with Caligula. Again, the eagle is bitten by a lizard, and Thea hurls rocks at Caligula, forcing him to fly away. They find him on the roof of their house, and when Augie approaches with meat, Caligula flies to him. Augie is left alone to deal with the eagle. He meets Thea’s friends and the small community in the city, including writers whom Thea hopes will teach her how to write about Caligula. One of the men is a young wealthy Mexican named Talavera, whom Augie immediately dislikes.

Thea loses faith in Caligula and spends her time developing photographs while Augie suffers from a mild bout of dysentery.