o Lycurgus, New York. He had already forgotten about Hortense, and had started to work in his uncles factory. In Lycurgus the name Griffiths gave Clyde a certain cachet, but his patrons regarded him as poor relation, a poor embarrassment, and virtually ignored him. But he got new friend and got known with two girls who had been from his background. They were as poor as he was. Clyde communicated with them only because no one else did it. So he met Zella and Rita. Clyde was interested in the fact that the girls were pretty and out of clear sky and in the face of his loneliness. But after some period of time he thought that those girls were too available if not exactly dangerous and so far as his future was concerned. Even in spite of the way he liked Rita, he put an end to his relations with her and any relations with all current friends, because his uncle noticed him and invited him to his house for dinner with his family.the dinner he meets Sondra Finchley «…as smart and vain and sweet a girl as Clyde had ever laid his eyes upon - so different to any he had ever known and so superior. To Clydes eyes she was the most adorable feminine thing he had seen in all his days».the days following dinner, Clyde yearns to become part of the world of the Griffiths. Clyde is to take charge of the stamping department, where about 25 young women prepare directions for how collars are to be finished. Clyde is ecstatic.Miss Finchley out of reach-at least temporarily-he begins seeing another attractive woman, Roberta Alden, a farmer's daughter who works in his department at the factory. Clyde's factory girlfriend believes in life and love. Like Clyde, she desires a better life and better marriage prospects, but she has no grand illusions about marrying into wealth and luxury. She believes in the efficacy of her efforts and in the value of continuing her education. Morality is important to her, but the passion overwhelms her. Gilbert Griffiths had forbidden Clyde to mingle socially with any of the factory girls, but Clyde and Roberta meet secretly and eventually become intimate. All goes well, and Clyde - in answer to her prodding - vows never to leave her.he encounters Sondra Finchley again. It is evening, and he is out walking when a limousine pulls up with her in the back seat. She has mistaken Clyde for Gilbert and offers him a ride. After realizing her mistake, she does not mind at all, for she finds Clyde more likable than Gilbert. Clyde sees Sondra Finchley, lying to Roberta that he is called upon by his uncle to do some work. He doesnt want to see Roberta; Clyde is too fascinated by Sondra. «So much for the effect of the wealth, beauty, the peculiar social state to which he most aspired, on a temperament that was as fluid and unstable as water» After inviting him to various social events, she is quite taken with him and falls in love with him - and he with her and her social status., of course, forgets all about Roberta - almost. Rather than breaking off with her all at once, he goes out with her occasionally in order to cut his ties with her gradually. But a twist of fate takes him by surprise: She is pregnant. The news devastates Clyde, for he and Sondra had become very close.persuading Roberta to abort the child, Clyde travels to Schenectady, N.Y., where know no one knows him, and buys a box of pills from an unscrupulous clerk. Somewhat relieved, he returns and gives them to Roberta.he checks on Roberta in the following days, she tells him the pills are not working. He takes Roberta to Gloversville, where a certain physician is said to administer abortions. However, despite Roberta's pleadings, he refuses to abort the child. Roberta is now set on having the baby and makes Clyde promise to marry her. It appears he has no way out - until he sees a newspaper headline which tells about accidental double tragedy at Pass Lake.thought of committing murder horrifies him at first. But the more he thinks about killing Roberta, the more he convinces himself that he has no alternative. If she has the baby, he is disgraced, ruined. Marrying Sondra would be out of the question. One day, he goes off with her to a resort area in upper New York State. Roberta thinks they are eloping. After they arrive, he takes her out in a boat, on Lake Bittern, to do the deed. It won't be difficult, for Roberta cannot swim.they set off from shore, he takes along his camera under the pretence that he plans to snap pictures of her. He is unable to act, unable to go through with his plan. As he sits there, it is if he is in a trance. Concerned, Roberta asks why he looks so strange, and then leans over to him to take his hand. Angry with himself for his failure to proceed, angry with Roberta for her power over him, he reacts to her movement toward him, throwing out at her with the camera in his hand. He does not mean to harm her; he wants only to prevent her from holding his hand. But the camera strikes her in the face, throwing her back. The boat rocks and she falls in. Clyde lets her drown.did not even feel reproach of his conscience he was only afraid that he could be arrested. He fled the scene of Robertas death, but circumstantial evidence, including letter to Clyde from Roberta and Sondra, led to his arrest for first - degree murder. Sondra left town, and her identity was never publicly revealed.had lost both girls whom he had loved.'s women - Hortense, Sondra, Roberta, Rita, and many others - are nothing more than pleasure seekers.
5. Clydes Aspirations for High Society
an early age, Clyde is a social and economic outcast. His parents job and poverty were embarrassing for him. This is why he wanted to leave his family and attain higher social class for himself. Clyde hated poverty and tried to escape from it anyhow. He always lied about his parents occupation, making them seen to be more important than they really were. He began to think about work at the age of fifteen. Clyde desired to get his first dollar, his first salary. After working in a malt shop for several months, Clyde finds a job at the Greene-Davidson Hotel as a bellboy. There, he makes more than $40 a week there. His friends show him what they think real living is about - fine food, expensive alcohol and women. Finally, he is able to dress well, enter a higher social class, meet females, and escape his family. But his friend runs over a little girl during a joyride in a stolen Packard.of Clydes role models is his uncle Samuel Griffiths, who immediately recognized the boys resemblance to his own son Gilbert and invited the ambitious bellboy to work at his collar factory in Lycurgus. Clyde was nearly faint with the sense of such great possibility.a small upstate town dominated only a few families; even a poor relation of the powerful Griffiths might become a chance of social success through that family connection. But Clydes ambitions were put down by the suspicious Gilbert, who placed his cousin at the bottom of the factory - in shrinking room.for achieving the top rose when Clyde was promoted to head stamping department. This mid - level clerkship signified a chance to move closer to full acceptance, even a kind of quality with the Griffiths.s concerns were less moral than social. Even during the early phases of his affair with Roberta, he feared he might be chained forever to this «factory girl». Sondra Finchley appeared to offer a way out. When she began a progressively serious flirtation with him, he was enthusiastic. At a dinner dance sponsored by the local dwellers, «…she slipped a white arm under Clydes, and he felt as though he was slowly but surely being transported to paradise». He wanted this relationship because he would become very wealthy with her. That is why he spent all his money on Sondra to show her that he was not poor, that he befitted her.restlessness was understandable recoil from the cramped life of his parents. His mother «would never understand his carving for ease and luxury, for beauty, for love his particular kind of love that went with show, pleasure, position, eager and immutable aspiration and desires».s aspirations discovered the vices of the society. His vices started to discover when his mother asked him for twenty - five dollars for his sister Esta because she really needed that money but Clyde denied her request, saying that hid he didnt have money at all because he wanted to buy an expensive overcoat for Hortense who had been probably more important than his family. He desired for wealth, status, luxury and he overstepped his moral principles. Money was on the first place for him. And as a result he lost everything that was important to him, and even his life… Clyde thought that money played the main role in peoples life and you could overstep your moral principles just to get something you had been dreaming of.
6. Crime and punishment
Clyde started to think about the murder when he realized that Roberta had become a danger for him. She could reveal their relationship and he would have to forget about luxury, wealth and status.»… as he was putting out the light before getting into bed, and still thinking of the complicated problem which his own life her presented, he was struck by the thought (what devil's whisper? - what evil hint of an evil spirit?) - supposing that he and Roberta - no, say he and Sondra - (no, Sondra could swim so well, and so could he) - he and Roberta were in a small boat somewhere and it should capsize at the very time, say, of this dreadful complication which was so harassing him? What an escape? What a relief from a gigantic and by now really destroying problem! On the other hand - hold - not so fast - for could a man even think of such a solution in connection with so difficult a problem as his without committing a crime in his heart, really - a horrible, terrible crime? He must not