The sudden growth of Helen's love for Frank brings many already — established themes into new conjunctions. Helen's acceptance of Frank changes her as well as Frank, and a sense of healing permeates their relationship. Their dreams of college for Frank continue, and Helen's dream of a near-idyllic future for her family lights up her gloomy world. But Frank and Helen's affection is inhibited by internal and external circumstances. Helen's feeling that she made a mistake in giving herself to Nat Pearl without love makes her determined to take no chances on repeating the mistake with Frank. Frank's mixed response to this attitude creates sympathy for him. His physical longing for her is a torment, but he realizes that he must discipline and change himself in order to be worthy of Helen.
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