Tropic of Cancer Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the scene at the beginning of the novel and how does it set up the condition Henry is in while in Paris?

Boris is renting out his apartment and Henry finds himself about to be homeless. He is mostly worried about having a place to do his writing.

2. How does Henry describe the book on which he is working?

He says it is not a book. It is a prolonged insult to Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, and Beauty.

3. Describe Henry's friends in Paris.

They are all Jews and he does not particularly like any of them except Tania.

4. How does Henry describe Moldorf?

He is a caricature of a man with thyroid eyes, Michelin lips, and a voice like pea soup.

5. How does Henry describe the relationship between him, Boris, and Elsa?

Elsa is the maid, he is the guest, and Boris is the Big Cheese.

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