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Lucky Jim | Study Guide

Kingsley Amis

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Lucky Jim | Chapter 13 | Summary



Waiting for the fateful taxi, Dixon worries Christine won't meet him, and his plan—for seduction? romance? a nice chat?—might come to naught. Whatever he's doing, he realizes it's leading him away from the life he's been pursing up to now, and "this thought justified his excitement and filled him with reassurance and hope." Whether Christine arrives or not, he is still making a change.

When his cab does not arrive, he steals one belonging to Professor Barclay. Just as he's wracked with an inappropriate amount of guilt for what seems to be a minor crime, Christine appears. In a heroic—by Dixon standards—effort, he convinces the taxi driver to go all the way to the Welch house, several miles out of town, and orders the driver to acquire petrol along the way.


Dixon's standard of brave male behavior may be slim here. Stealing a taxi and convincing the driver to go to the destination and wait, while also paying him the appropriate amount of money, might not seem as bold as Sir Lancelot going out to battle a dragon. However, for a lower-middle-class Northern academic such as Dixon, impressing a girl as pretty and seductive as Christine equates to fighting a dragon of propriety, whatever his proper future as a rule-abiding citizen might offer. He has made a decision, finally.

Take note: Dixon has added cab stealing to his list of crimes. No crime escapes the watchful eyes of the Welches.

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