The Rich Boy

Richard Lehan’s evaluation of Anson Hunter, the main character in “The Rich Boy”, is overall an acceptable one. Despite its vagueness and Lehan’s inability to support his description and opinions about Anson Hunter with proof from Fitzgerald’s short story, Lehan manages to capture, in his short account, the essence of Anson Hunter’s character. Lehan is able to describe who this character is and why he behaves as he does. However, in analyzing the intriguing character Lehan, aside from not supporting his statements, also creates a few major misunderstandings, which leave a certain amount of perplexity of whether this overall analysis of Anson Hunter could be sufficiently accurate so as to appear in a collection of Fitzgerald’s short stories. Lehan’s first sentence is without any doubt a perfect evaluation of the main character of “The Rich Boy”. Anson is definitely the type of person who “has such a sense of superiority that he can never reconcile himself to having been turned down by the beautiful Paula Legendre.” However, Lehan fails to explain why Anson feels so superior. Fitzgerald best explains why Anson feels so superior when he states that “most of our lives end as a compromise – it was as a compromise that his [Anson Hunter] life began.” In the second sentence of the analysis, Lehan proves to have misunderstood certain parts of the story by claiming that Anson tries to revenge his loss of Paula by “winning and then dismissing Dolly Karger, and by driving Cary Sloane to suicide for having an affair with his uncle’s wife.” These two statements are a hypothetical conclusion of Lehan’s, which he fails to support. From the story it is evident that Anson does not leave Dolly out of revenge for what had happened in his past love life. On the contrary, Anson is, within certain limits, respectful towards Dolly even though “he was not in love with her” the way he was with Paula and “he frequently told her so” . …

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