Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Bluebeard Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 June 2017. Web. 11 Dec. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, June 23). Bluebeard Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Bluebeard Study Guide." June 23, 2017. Accessed December 11, 2018.


Course Hero, "Bluebeard Study Guide," June 23, 2017, accessed December 11, 2018,

Bluebeard | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • During World War I

    Rabo's parents survive the genocide of Armenians by the Turks.

    Chapter 1
  • Shortly after

    Rabo's parents are tricked out of their jewels and into moving to San Ignacio, California.

    Chapter 3
  • 1927

    Rabo writes to Dan Gregory for help starting his career and receives a response from Marilee.

    Chapter 6
  • 1933

    Rabo goes to New York to become Dan Gregory's apprentice.

    Chapter 4
  • Almost a year later

    Dan Gregory catches Marilee and Rabo at the Museum of Modern Art.

    Chapter 21
  • Soon after

    Marilee and Rabo make love for the first time.

    Chapter 21
  • Soon after

    Marilee stays with Dan Gregory, while Rabo leaves.

    Chapter 22
  • During World War II

    Rabo loses his eye and becomes a prisoner of war.

    Chapter 25
  • May 8, 1945

    The war ends, and Rabo awakes on the edge of a green valley full of soldiers and war survivors.

    Chapter 25
  • 1950

    Rabo is reunited with Marilee, now the Countess Portomaggiore, in Italy.

    Chapter 27
  • 1960s

    Rabo rents a potato barn to use as a painting studio.

    Chapter 1
  • 1965

    Rabo marries Edith and moves into her home in the Hamptons.

    Chapter 1
  • 1985

    Edith dies, and Rabo paints Now It's the Women's Turn in the barn over the course of six months.

    Chapter 34
  • Early summer 1987

    Rabo meets Circe Berman on the beach, and she moves in with him.

    Chapter 2
  • Summer 1987

    Circe suggests that Rabo write his autobiography.

    Chapter 2
  • End of summer 1987

    Rabo shows Circe the painting in the barn, explains its significance, and they become friends.

    Chapter 36

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Author's Note–Chapter 1 The author, Kurt Vonnegut, explains that the book is a novel, "a hoax autobiography," that should not be read as a his... Read More
Chapters 2–3 Rabo explains that he is writing his autobiography at the suggestion of a woman who has recently come to stay with him... Read More
Chapters 4–5 Rabo recalls his past as a series of pictures in an imaginary gallery. One of these is the photograph of a house Mamig... Read More
Chapters 6–7 After the tale of Bluebeard in the previous chapter, Rabo jokes that there are no bodies of his former wives in the ba... Read More
Chapters 8–9 Rabo recalls the reaction of his boss at the newspaper, Arnold Coates, to the news that he would be going to New York ... Read More
Chapters 10–11 Rabo recalls the night he first met Dan Gregory. As he walked through the streets to Gregory's elegant home, he recall... Read More
Chapters 12–13 Rabo recounts the story Dan Gregory told him about his childhood in Russia. He said he was "rescued from his parents" ... Read More
Chapters 14–15 As Rabo returns from New York he enters his home by way of the foyer, an entrance hall which had been decorated by Edi... Read More
Chapters 16–17 When the cook hears Rabo tell Circe to leave his house, she gives her notice. She says she and Celeste had been planni... Read More
Chapters 18–19 Rabo remembers that Dan Gregory worked feverishly for hours, ignoring the rest of the world, a skill Rabo later develo... Read More
Chapters 20–21 Rabo recalls that despite Dan Gregory's harsh reaction to Rabo's first painting of the studio, Rabo knew he was lucky ... Read More
Chapters 22–23 Rabo shows his art collection to a couple of German businessmen, and he and Circe understand enough of what they say i... Read More
Chapters 24–25 Rabo takes Slazinger upstairs to the room he requests, thinking that Circe's reaction is much stranger and scarier tha... Read More
Chapters 26–27 Rabo recalls his life after the war. He had cosmetic surgery on his wounded eye and ended up marrying his nurse and ha... Read More
Chapters 28–29 Rabo recalls that Marilee expressed her contempt for him, coming to her house hoping for sex, when he hadn't contacted... Read More
Chapters 30–31 Rabo says Marilee told him about her relationship with the count. She had enjoyed his company, but when he died she di... Read More
Chapters 32–35 Rabo remembers how unhappy Dorothy was about the amount of money he spent on buying the other painters suits and renti... Read More
Chapters 34–35 Rabo responds to Circe's questions about the contents of the potato barn by telling her only that what's in it is "eig... Read More
Chapters 36–37 Circe comments on all the uniforms in the painting, and Rabo reflects that his neighbor, Big John, had been happy to s... Read More
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Bluebeard? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!