The Counterlife - Part 2 Judea, pages 129-140 Summary & Analysis

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Part 2 Judea, pages 129-140 Summary

After leaving the dinner at Lippman's, Henry takes Nathan to where he will sleep. After the shock of the dinner, Nathan has little to say at first. He wonders if Henry is also in shock after the dinner and secretly wants to go home, and then he wonders if Carol had been correct in suspecting that Henry had become crazy after the surgery. Nathan thinks he should have told Lippman "let my brother go."

Nathan mentions that not once has Henry mentioned his children, and Henry is immediately defensive. Henry angrily says that the children are coming to visit at Passover. Nathan reminds Henry that he said his life in New Jersey was meaningless, and he asks if Henry was also including the children. He tells Henry what Henry's daughter said on the telephone, and Henry cries. Henry says he feels confused without the children near.

Once they reach the house where Nathan will stay, Henry is about to return to his dormitory, but Nathan asks him to talk further. Nathan asks if Lippman reminds Henry of anyone, and Henry is angered by Nathan's comparison of Lippman to their own father. Henry wants to know if Nathan has any other frame of reference besides New Jersey, and Nathan answers that New Jersey is the source of his Jewish memories. Nathan also suggests that Henry is becoming an apprentice fanatic. This causes Henry to explode in anger and call Nathan a decadent Jew among other things before he storms out.

Part 2 Judea, pages 129-140 Analysis

Despite the shock Nathan feels after the dinner and the confusion about why his brother has chosen such a life, he still retains his sense of humor. When he thinks about what he should have said to Lippman, he decides on "let my brother go." This is possibly a reference to the words the character Moses was supposed to have said to the Egyptian Pharaoh in the biblical stories telling of Jewish captivity in Egypt.

Though Nathan tries very hard to communicate with his brother without offending any sensitive subjects, and for a moment it seems his has gotten though, ultimately the two bothers are unable to talk without rancor. For Nathan's part, he simply cannot understand the actions of his brother. From Henry's perspective, everything Nathan says is designed to ridicule Henry without taking any of his beliefs seriously.

This section contains 405 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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