Looking for Mr. Goodbar Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
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Looking for Mr. Goodbar Summary & Study Guide Description

Looking for Mr. Goodbar Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Looking for Mr. Goodbar by Judith Rossner is a highly erotic novel about the dangers that lurk for young women in singles bars. The story begins with the confession of Theresa Dunn's killer. Theresa was a young schoolteacher who had a habit of picking up men in the bars near her home. Gary White is a small-time criminal on the run from a warrant in his home state of Florida. Gary comes to New York to hook up with an old Vietnam buddy; however, his buddy is no longer at the address he gave Gary. Gary ends up staying with a homosexual man he met in a gay bar.

Humiliated from his experiences with the gay gentleman Gary is ready to get out of his current situation. Gary meets Theresa in a bar called Mr. Goodbar. When Theresa invites Gary to her apartment Gary goes not for the sex since he is not really attracted to Theresa but for the idea of a good night's sleep away from his gay friend. Things go wrong when Theresa insists he leave immediately after sex and Gary losses his temper. Gary restrains Theresa on the bed, but when she begins to scream, he hits her on the head with a lamp. To make sure she is dead he stabs her several times with his knife.

Theresa is the third in a family of four children. Theresa had polio when she was four and later suffers scoliosis from a weakness in the muscles of her back. Theresa is forced to spend a year in the hospital to undergo spinal surgery. When Theresa is older she attends City College in Harlem. While there she meets an English professor who takes a special interest in her. Theresa goes to work for this professor and they begin an affair that lasts the full four years she is at college and ends on her graduation. The end of this affair devastates Theresa and it will later shape her sexual behaviors.

Theresa gets a job teaching and moves to Manhattan. Katherine, Theresa's sister introduces her to the world of drugs and uncommitted sex. Theresa has a one-night stand with a man who is a work colleague of Katherine's husband and later picks up a man in a bar Katherine takes her to.

Soon Theresa is cruising bars on her own and picking up men on a regular basis. Theresa meets two men who are complete opposites but keep her interest just the same. Tony is a violent, erotic man that excites her. James is a young lawyer who is more interested in marriage and children than a carefree sexual relationship. Theresa is trapped between these two men aware that James is what her family and friends expect of her and Tony is what she wants in her bed.

Theresa is cruel to James in the hope he will go away and leave her alone. James sticks around until he becomes a habit to Theresa. If only he would stop talking about marriage. Tony on the other hand disappears on his own only to reappear on the same day James gives Theresa a ring. Theresa seizes the opportunity to chase James off only to realize she does not want Tony anymore either. James gives Theresa an ultimatum, marry him now or lose him forever. While trying to decide what it is she wants Theresa falls back into her old habits. Theresa goes to Mr. Goodbar to pick up a man for the night. Except this night Theresa picks up the wrong man. Gary White kills Theresa in her own bed.

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This section contains 604 words
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