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Lucky Jim | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1940s

    James Dixon serves in World War II.

    Chapter 3
  • Early 1950s

    Dixon works as a history lecturer at a provincial British college.

    Chapter 1
  • Spring

    Margaret Peel apparently overdoses on sleeping pills but survives.

    Chapter 1
  • Later that spring

    Professor Ned Welch asks Dixon to deliver the term's evening lecture on "Merrie England."

    Chapter 1
  • A week later

    At the Welches' "arty" weekend, Dixon meets Christine Callaghan.

    Chapter 4
  • Two weeks later

    At the Summer Ball, Dixon and Christine dance.

    Chapter 10
  • The next day

    Dixon and Margaret end their relationship.

    Chapter 16
  • The next day

    Dixon and Margaret get back together.

    Chapter 18
  • A few days later

    Dixon and Bertrand Welch fight.

    Chapter 20
  • That night

    Dixon delivers his "Merrie England" lecture.

    Chapter 21
  • The next day

    Professor Welch fires Dixon.

    Chapter 23
  • Two days later

    Julius Gore-Urquhart offers Dixon a job in London.

    Chapter 23
  • Later that day

    Catchpole and Dixon figure out Margaret probably faked her suicide attempt.

    Chapter 24
  • Later that day

    Dixon rushes to the train station to catch Christine before she leaves for London.

    Chapter 24
  • Later that day

    Dixon and Christine see the Welches for the last time; the two laugh and head off together.

    Chapter 25

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Lucky Jim begins with James Dixon, the protagonist, in conversation with Professor Ned Welch, his supervisor in the hist... Read More
Chapter 2 Margaret and Dixon are having a drink at the Oak Lounge, a pub near the Welches' house. Margaret recalls her suicide att... Read More
Chapter 3 Michie, a student Dixon despises, accosts him after a lecture. Like Dixon, Michie served in World War II; he "commanded ... Read More
Chapter 4 Everyone is at the Welches' house for the arty weekend. Mrs. Welch appears and is even more boorish and priggish than he... Read More
Chapter 5 Dixon is very drunk after his escape to the pub during the Welches' house party. He returns to the house and catches sig... Read More
Chapter 6 This chapter begins with an infamous description of a hangover. Dixon feels as if "his mouth had been used as a latrine ... Read More
Chapter 7 Margaret thinks Dixon and "the Callaghan girl" are acting insane and so disapproves. Dixon hides the burned table in a s... Read More
Chapter 8 A few weeks have passed. Dixon is at the college, and Professor Welch summons him. This summoning reminds Dixon of his f... Read More
Chapter 9 The porter, Maconochie, asks Dixon to take a phone call meant for Welch. Strangely, it's Christine Callaghan on the phon... Read More
Chapter 10 It's the Summer Ball, and Margaret tells Dixon the mix-up and switching of partners infuriated everyone. Carol Goldsmith... Read More
Chapter 11 On the dance floor with Christine, Dixon feels "like a special agent, a picaroon, a Chicago war-lord, a hidalgo, an oil ... Read More
Chapter 12 Now Dixon is dancing with Carol Goldsmith. She complains about Bertrand Welch and his womanizing ways. She's furious Ber... Read More
Chapter 13 Waiting for the fateful taxi, Dixon worries Christine won't meet him, and his plan—for seduction? romance? a nice chat?—... Read More
Chapter 14 Bemused, Christine admires Dixon's bold new ways. In turn, he is impressed she "ditched" Bertrand at the dance for him. ... Read More
Chapter 15 Christine and Dixon stand in front of the Welches' house. It is dark, and no one is home. They decide to break in throug... Read More
Chapter 16 The chapter begins with a prank letter Dixon is writing to Johns, threatening him (via an alias) with bodily harm if he ... Read More
Chapter 17 It is the next morning, and, over his breakfast, Dixon thinks about how he really must finish his "Merrie England" talk.... Read More
Chapter 18 Having completed Professor Welch's drudge work, Dixon now feels compelled to accompany him home for dinner. While natter... Read More
Chapter 19 Back at Mrs. Cutler's house, Dixon stares at the communal telephone. He knows he has to cancel his tea date with Christi... Read More
Chapter 20 "Merrie England" is Dixon's fate and fortune. If he succeeds in this lecture, he will probably secure his job for the fo... Read More
Chapter 21 Dixon explains his Bertrand-inflicted black eye as a shaving accident. It is the pregame reception before the "Merrie En... Read More
Chapter 22 The "Merrie England" lecture is almost too insane to summarize. It's like a comic nightmare. Dixon reaches the stage, ba... Read More
Chapter 23 Beesley and Dixon discuss how and why the "Merrie England" lecture went so terribly wrong. They agree: it was the drink.... Read More
Chapter 24 It is finally time for lunch with Catchpole, who turns out to be a nice-looking, innocuous young man. Immediately, he te... Read More
Chapter 25 Suddenly Dixon, the perpetual pessimist, is as light as Voltaire's Candide, the simple fool in the best of all possible ... Read More
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