Esther says that she likes "looking on at other people in crucial situations." Is she creating a crucial situation, in part, for herself so she can examine it? Or is it that since she has been "studying and reading and writing and working like mad" all her life, she doesn't know how to accept a sociable, much less a fashionable role? The successful Jay Cee tries to encourage Esther to follow her as a role model because the homely but competent editor knows all the "quality writers"; she tells Esther to "learn French and German and probably several other languages." This reminds Esther of her dilemma with physics and chemistry, and after that story, the reader wonders if Esther really does "love school." Perhaps she secretly wants to be sexy like Doreen — or perhaps naively innocent like Betsy.
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