Grew Up… in a relatively modest, middle-class existence, though he’s associated with the East Coast elite for his entire life. Tom has been to boarding school, where he met many of the figures that led him to disapprove of the bourgeoisie so vehemently.
Visiting… Manhattan and his family for Christmas break. While back home from Princeton, Tom accepted an invitation to a debutante ball at the Plaza Hotel, where he made the acquaintance of a tight-knit group of friends known as the “Sally Fowler set."
Profession… student and “a committed socialist, but not a Marxist.” Tom sees himself as a social critic of sorts. He attended his first deb ball in order to “know firsthand” what he opposes. He likes to name-drop social theorists: “I’ve read Veblin, but it was amazing to see that these things still go on.”
Interests… good literary criticism. Tom doesn’t read novels – he prefers to go straight to the critics, like Lionel Trilling: “I prefer good literary criticism, that way you get both the novelists' ideas as well as the critic’s thinking.”
Relationship Status… pining after his ex-girlfriend, Serena Slocumb. It turns out a couple of girls in the Sally Fowler set went to boarding school with Serena. It is from them that Tom learns of the many boyfriends she had concurrently with him. Meanwhile, the innocent Audrey, one of Tom’s new friends in the Fowler clique, has developed a severe crush on him.
Challenge… getting over his pseudo left-wing snobbery and learning to see his romantic life more clearly. Tom still wants to woo the mercurial Serena, despite the interest that the sweet, kind Audrey has been showing him.
Personality… idealistic, arrogant, and melancholy. Tom does not understand the power he holds over Audrey. If he doesn’t act carefully, the oblivious Tom could end up breaking her heart. The fact that he'd be doing it to chase a woman who obviously doesn't care that much about him would make it that much worse.
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